Ever hear PR folk use the term ‘media famil’ without really understanding what it means or how it’s relevant to your brand? (Eek, I’m guilty of bandying the term around!) Perhaps you thought it was a typo in the email they sent – “did she mean to type family?” – (auto correct thinks so…)
Let’s explain a media famil a little more.
Famil is short term for familiarisation. A famil or familiarisation is a PR tool designed to give select journalists and/or influencers the opportunity to experience a region, venue, product or service. Very common in the tourism industry, a famil is conducted with the main intention that a journalist will then write a positive story about their experience.
Usually a famil is done in groups and showcases the very best experience possible. They can be tailored depending on the types of media attending and the product/service you are wanting to showcase.
As mentioned famils are very common within the tourism industry but can be designed to suit a range of other industries.
Some may ask – why not just put it in a media release and pitch it to the journalist? And for sure, some things can be well reported in a media release, it’s a huge part of what we PR people do, but some things just have to be experienced to be appreciated.
Think about it – don’t you relate to a destination/brand/product/service so much more when you’ve experienced it firsthand?
I’ve recently been on a media famil to Bali with a group of influencers and media and no matter how sharp my writing skills; there’s no way a media release could conjure up the incredible scenery and evoke the feelings I experienced when bike riding through the rice paddies during sunset. I’m sure we’ve all used that phrase, or at least heard it – “photos don’t do it justice” – and bang on, that’s why we strongly suggest incorporating a famil into the PR strategy for particular clients.
Beyond giving these key gatekeepers a true sense for the experience, a media famil goes one step further.
It generates a deeper relationship with your brand, allowing media/influencers to share their experiences with their audiences and actually mean it!
A well-executed famil can lead to huge amounts of coverage. Once experiencing your offering, media and influencers will discover their own unique angles and have the potential to become long term friends with your brand, so when other opportunities arise, we (PR folk) can revisit your new brand friend and ask them to cover more news. And when it’s an angle well suited to them, usually they do! Continued engagement and recognition of your brand will keep you and your business front of mind and could lead to many, many media opportunities in the future… winning!
So, is a famil right for your brand?
Do you have a service or product that can be experienced in a unique way and is in the public interest? If the answer is yes, then I would say for sure.
Here’s one tip from me: Ensure you plan ahead and provide ample opportunities to highlight what it is your business has to offer. This may involve aligning with other brands that will complement and enhance your offering. In turn this will hopefully create a positive and memorable experience for the journalist, with many opportunities to inspire a variety of angles, and can result in some positive media coverage.
Hopefully the next time you hear or see the word famil, you’ll have a better idea of what it entails. If you’d like to find out more about how a famil might work for your brand get in touch.
This post was written by the very-familiar-with-famils PR star, Jess Wood
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