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In praise of the press trip

With journalists saying that it is increasingly hard to get away from their desks to meet contacts, what with the range of editorial tasks they have to perform, the different platforms to populate and the proliferation of deadlines throughout the day, it is very refreshing to hear that 150 journalists have found time to join the international pop star Rihanna on a Boeing 777 for a week long concert tour round the globe.  However, it would appear that Rihanna’s publicists have forgotten the old truism about press trips: it is not about the invite, it’s about the story.  Yes, the jet set invitation would have appealed to the showbiz journalists, but they needed stories and access if they were going to placate their editors.  With Rihanna locked away in an on board panic room  it was inevitable that the occupants of the back of the bus were going to get restless.  Today’s papers are full of stories of tweets about hacks chanting  “Just one quote!” and  “I need a headline!”. When the story becomes “Bored Ozzie hack streaks down aisle of plane” you know the media is filling a vacuum.  It should apply to any journalist invite, what’s in it for them.

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  • http://twitter.com/Themwap Steve Smith

    Great post Michael. I blogged about press trips a while ago (http://themwap.com/2011/08/17/death-of-the-press-trip/) and agree that junkets are, and should be, a thing of the past. Before we blame the publicists though, could it have been the star not playing ball? I’m reminded of George Mitchell having reputedly fallen out with the BBC’s Head of PR a few weeks before THAT Today Programme interview…

Michael Davies

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Michael is Head of Financial & Corporate PR News at Gorkana Group

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