Holiday planning: PR survey and satellite media tour timeline

by | Oct 13, 2017 | Analysis, Public Relations

The memes are already popping up on social: “Only ___ number of shopping days left before the holidays!”

In the life of PR and marketing, this time of year is vital for creating standout brand content to increase awareness and consumer action.

Let’s take a look at a fictional scenario that’ll help you create a timeline for your client(s).


Your agency has a brand wanting to conduct a satellite media tour during the holiday season. In this scenario, we’ll still run the possible SMT through the “4T Filter”.

  • Talent is likely an “iList” spokesperson (internal or influencer)
  • Topic is TBD because the brand client really just wants to promote the product.
  • Timing requires all pieces of content needing aired or cleared by December 25th.
  • Targets are TV, radio, and online bookings/placements. At this time, there are no target markets.


In this particular self-created, but all too familiar, scenario—the topic is weak. WHAT are hosts, producers, and journalists going to talk about during these segments?

My recommendation is to conduct market research in the form of a PR Survey to gain useful data and stats for media pitching. There is always a story that can be told. But quantifiable data from various demographics drives a more memorable media conversation.

Since there are no target markets, we recommend a general population survey with at least 2,000 respondents. Segmentations to include gender, age, generation, and US region.

Within the 10-14 questions, we craft a creative questionnaire that meets market research guidelines, flows well for the respondent, and gives us the best opportunity for media-friendly headlines.

Holiday planning: PR survey and satellite media tour timeline


Let’s work backwards for this exercise.

  • December 25th: Deadline for broadcast airings and online posts.
  • Week of December 11th: Satellite Media Tour Even with great data from a PR Survey to bolster a topic, an “iList” talent will book more taped interviews than live. You want to give yourself enough time for all the interviews to clear. IF you had a major A-List talent, you can get away with the week of December 18th.
  • Week of November 13th: In a perfect world, the media alert is approved and a full 4 weeks is available to pitch a fully earned media However, this ideal runway is rarely reality. In a worst-case scenario, pitching can be done in as little as 7 to 10 business days. This usually also requires supplemental paid media integrations to meet interview goals.
  • Week of November 6th:Survey completed and data and top stats summary delivered. SMT alert created and sent through approval process.
  • Week of October 30th (Likely Nov. 1-3):Survey fielded to general population sample of 2,000 respondents.
  • Week of October 23rd: Survey questionnaire created, submitted for approval, and vetted for compliance.
  • Week of October 16th: Kickoff call, key message delivery, and goal setting for Holiday PR Survey + Satellite Media Tour project.

The timeline above is ideal, but not required. It is possible to compress the timing.

However, remember this: Holiday Satellite Media Tours are just like holiday shopping. The longer you wait to plan/act, the more stress, the less creativity, and more likely you are to overspend just to get something done.

Alex Hinojosa
As SVP of Digital Marketing & Media at 4media Group, Alex Hinojosa strives to develop and deliver shareable media impressions. "Cut through the clutter and create memorable content with the potential to go viral!" That was his mantra during his nearly two decades as a broadcaster for CBS Radio, iHeartMedia and ESPN Radio in major markets including DC, Atlanta and Tampa.


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