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Press tour: five things to know before setting off!

By 12 September 2023No Comments

A strategy based on shared objectives and specific audience targets.


We always try to start from here, and this was also the case when launching the national press office of the Museo della Ceramica di Savona.

Together with the new management team of the Museo della Ceramica di Savona, in 2022 we set out on a strategic path with the aim of creating or consolidating a relationship with the press, from the most general to the most specific arts and cultural tourism media.

We found ourselves faced with a blank sheet waiting to be written on. Indeed, the national press office job had never been tackled with any continuity, leaving ample room for different possibilities.

From among the various avenues open to us, we chose to focus on an action that would allow us to come into direct contact with the press, making carefully selected publications aware of the museum, its collection, exhibition programming, educational activities and its close relationship with the local area. This is why the first action involving the national press was the organisation of a press tour in Savona.

Organising a press tour means allowing journalists to experience what we are talking about for themselves, giving them first-hand experience of an organisation and the staff working there.

Why organise such a demanding event that allows close and in-depth contact between the press and a cultural organisation under new management?

A press tour gives journalists the opportunity to have a unique experience: to get to know all the faces and professionals who work in a cultural institution and to play a brief leading role in museum life, while also becoming acquainted with what goes on every day behind the scenes.

An activity whose impact is not even remotely comparable to issuing a press release or even the more traditional press conference.

First of all, organising a press tour allows you to develop a privileged relationship with journalists from the newspapers involved, which you can also use for the promotion of future initiatives: contacting them personally, letting them take part in a memorable experience designed to make the most of the time spent together . . .

How do you do it? We followed five simple rules. Keep reading . . .

1) Agree a visit and experience programme in partnership with the cultural institution

The first thing to do is to be clear about what we can and/or want to offer the press and draw up a programme that is rich and diverse without being too intense and tiring. We should not forget to activate all the different local entities with which we are used to collaborating. For the Museo della Ceramica di Savona we chose to develop the tour by extending it to the various local entities linked to the world of ceramics: this established our museum as one of the main nodes in a strong and cohesive territorial network, packed with insights and potential news that can be shared over a long period via diversified channels.

2) Develop the contact database carefully

Once we have decided what to offer, we can work on whom to invite. This is the most delicate step, because the success of a press tour will depend almost solely on the selection of contacts we are able to involve. Today, preference is given to press tours that are not too crowded, that guarantee the possibility of really connecting with the participants, without the risk of things becoming overwhelming. For the Museo della Ceramica di Savona, after identifying the objectives (to obtain visibility in the general, cultural and tourist press at a national level), we worked on a database of approximately seventy contacts from which we were able to achieve the participation of ten journalists representing publications consistent with our objectives.

3) Prepare clear and comprehensive materials

The journalists taking part in the press tour require useful material for writing about their experience. Simply showing it to them during the event is not enough. We need to prepare a complete media kit! Upon their arrival in Savona, the journalists we involved received a hard copy of all the material.

4) Come up with special (and personalised) content!

If the database work has been done properly, it is likely that the selection of journalists will cover different themes and sectors. It is therefore important to show that, for each of the newspapers present, we can propose customised content able to meet the journalists’ publication requirements.

5) Don’t forget the follow-up

The press tour doesn’t end when the journalists go home. It is important to continue to maintain relations even after the direct experience is over. The first step must certainly be to thank them for attending. Remembering to invite them to previews and/or openings of other events is certainly a good way to maintain the contacts.


The press tour of the Museo della Ceramica was certainly a success for the museum governance, but also for the journalists themselves, who appreciated both the programme proposed and the extensive content presented, as featured in articles and reports that came out in the following months or are still in press!

The articles in Qui Touring (Touring Club Italiano magazine) and the weekly publication Oggi


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Contributor: Silvia Basso