Why has Tourism Australia resorted to spending $15 million to “buy” editorial in Australian newspapers and magazines (yesterday, item 19)? It’s not necessary. They could easily retain a PR consultancy or media relations agency, such as us, which actually specialises in securing media coverage. This would cost them approximately $288,000 for a twelve month campaign being a monthly retainer of 20k plus GST and administration fee. Thereby saving a whopping $14,712,000!

For this fee we would guarantee them consistent, major media coverage in all the travel magazines, travel sections of newspapers, travel television programs, travel segments on radio, travel internet sites and other related media. As media relations specialists we dedicate 100% of our time and effort to securing media coverage. As experienced journalists and due to our specialisation and unique strategy we’re able to guarantee media coverage. We regularly secure full page covers of newspaper sections, one and two full pages in state and national newspapers, major articles of two or more full pages in national high profile magazines and more.

None of this media coverage has to be purchased. The client pays our fee, which is extremely reasonable compared to the cost of buying media.

As well as saving $14.7 million, Tourism Australia would be securing real editorial that offers credibility which advertising and advertorial (paid editorial) does not. Andrew McEvoy of Tourism Australia said “they’re screwed” if the advertorial does not look like editorial, which it won’t. Therefore, he should seriously reconsider this strategy. It will definitely look like advertorial or advertising because that is exactly what it is and readers aren’t idiots. Advertorials always stand out and if readers are unsure they only have to look at the top of the page for “promotion”, “advertorial” or some similar notation.

Advertorials can be a very smart strategy but they are really only ever used by companies who can’t secure editorial coverage. Seeing as Tourism Australia has so many incredible destinations, features and angles that can be pitched to media, why would they have to resort to paid editorial?! They must have a very ineffective internal public relations department or consultancy.

If Tourism Australia can’t secure significant, consistent media coverage in Australian media on Australia, then what the blo-dy hell are they doing?