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Tourism Spotlight: How to Host a FAM Trip

By Sheena Martin

Media familiarization trips (aka FAM trips) have been a long-standing public relations strategy. Whether it’s inviting journalists to explore your destination and discover its hidden gems or bringing them to stay at your new (or not so new) property and learn everything it has to offer, FAM trips are an excellent way to get media excited about your client. And more importantly, write about them.

There’s no blueprint for putting together the perfect FAM trip and there shouldn’t be. Each trip needs be customized to your client and the journalists visiting. Below we uncover a few best practices every PR pro should consider as well as what we’re hearing media are looking for when it comes to FAM trips.

6 Tips on Hosting a FAM Trip

  • Be cognizant of media’s concerns surrounding group travel.
    Not everyone is ready to travel in groups, especially with total strangers. Being transparent in your invites when it comes to group size and providing alternative options for those voicing concerns is pertinent to secure those valuable RSVPs.
  • Plan for cancellations
    When planning your FAM trip, expect last minute cancellations and prepare a plan of action to quickly adjust your itinerary if necessary. Things come up and journalists do have private lives, so be flexible and see if they can visit another time (if your budget allows).
  • Send invites 6 – 8 weeks out
    Giving journalists an ample amount of time to plan their trip, especially in a post-pandemic environment, is a courtesy they can all appreciate. As the world begins to open back up and international travel returns, every communication and marketing team is eager to get media back in their destination or at their property, so an early invite will help you get on their calendar before it fills up. To ensure timeliness for you and your client, set a deadline to RSVP, giving plenty of time plan accommodations, reservations, activities. etc.
  • Execute a flawless experience
    From start to finish, the trip should be a breeze for your guests because you’ve ensured that each detail has been thoroughly thought through. Drafting itemized itineraries for media as well as your client with contact, transportation, and reservation information is a must when planning a seamless experience.
  • Manage client and partner expectations
    Providing partner venues and outside vendors with detailed information on your guests as well as what your expectations are for the experience will also assist with preventing avoidable speedbumps. Not every single partner or vendor will make it into every story, and managing that fact with them in advance will help for good relationships all around.
  • Don’t forget influencers
    As the media landscape continues to shift, bloggers and influencers have become a valuable tool when it comes to exposure for your clients. According to Pew Research Center, nearly half of U.S. adults get their news from social media sites, so ensure you’re reaching all audiences by diversifying your invite list. Bringing influencers to your FAM trip, which is designed to showcase the absolute best of your client, will give each attendee tons of valuable content for their channels and your client the opportunity to reach new audiences.

FAM Trips are Here to Stay

FAM trips aren’t going anywhere for the time being. They might just look a little different. It’s our job as excellent marketers to adapt and continue thinking outside of the box to create impactful experiences for media.