The press junket or “fam trip” (as in familiarization trip) are stalwart tools in the PR practitioner’s tool chest. Travel PR pros send journalists (who can accept it) to the destinations or properties they represent. Movie publicists bring feature reporters to a central location to queue up for “controlled” star interviews. (The bigger the star, the more control.) And the tech PR folks, not to be outdone, gather their beat reporters to open the curtains on their most buzzworthy offerings. One of the most famous all-time media gatherings was for Microsoft’s launch of Windows 95.
The latest tech fam trip took place at Google’s headquarters and was cleverly branded the “Google Factory Tour.” From what I understand, Google, while adequately responsive to journalists’ yearnings for the inside scoop, has traditionally been reticent to fully open its doors to the press. (Can you blame them with Microsoft and Yahoo as competitors?)
Last week, they did, and the resulting media coverage was boffo. Does this mean that sudden media access after lack of access is a strategy worth exploring? (Think Segway.) Over exposure can hurt. Measured exposure is the way to go.