A media junket is usually a fully paid trip and invited by the brand for journalists. In return, it is usually “exchanged” or negotiated for a feature story or a page in the newspapers. A PR practitioner is usually the chaperone to these journalists on the trip. Sounds glamorous? A free trip? NO WAY!
As I call myself a PR slave, it is definitely the best description of the job for a media junket! You have to find out journalists’ personal details to book and arrange flights, seat preferences, food allergies and preferences on the plane, make hotel reservations, transport upon arrival, meals to be taken care of every day and night, plan R&R activities etc… Basically, it is like planning your own holiday but for someone else and for work but ensure that everything is well-taken care of! Oh… And did I forget? You may be asked to change return flights at the last minute (extend their trip for leisure) or change rooms (if they don’t like being near the elevator). If they wish to eat something specific that they heard it is good from their friends, you have to try to find it! Or maybe queue for Starbucks for 30mins if they need their caffeine dose. It is a pure nightmare! Maybe the only thing you do not need to do is to carry their luggage…
In the beauty industry, media junkets are getting extremely popular to secure coverage and stories in the magazines. These are more easily negotiated compared to other industries. Beauty journalists enjoy it better too, especially these junkets are usually for new product launches. They get pampered to spa treatments or massages to try the products in a relaxing environment and of course, time for R&R! It is definitely more enjoyable and relaxing.
However, in the tech industry, no mention and no negotiation on how much coverage a brand will receive through media junket. Tech journalists do not have such a good life too! They return to their rooms to file stories almost immediately (thanks to online media) and work long hours to get their stories completed. They are also not pampered and as well taken care of as the lifestyle media. Then again, if it is a trade show, these tech journalists will file stories on other brands too and not only your brand.
I have gone on a couple of media junkets and bringing the tech media was definitely an eye-opener for me. I am quite sure I can take care of them better than other tech brands with half the effort since I came from the lifestyle industry.