Working with the Media - It’s a small world after all -

Jul 24, 2017 LOUISA BECKETT Turnkey Communications & PR, Inc

Journalists, especially yachting editors, writers and photographers, love anything that’s new. If you sell a new yacht line and the builder is about to come out with new model or launch a new custom yacht, you have just hit the jackpot in terms of an opportunity for creating media impressions. Many yachting publications try to cover most, if not all, of the new boats in their size range (particularly those that are all-new, rather than just an update of an existing model). And if a new boat’s debut is scheduled for one of the major boat shows, such as the Cannes Yachting Festival, Monaco Yacht Show, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Yachts Miami Beach or the Miami International Boat Show, it also has a good chance of getting into a publication’s preview section for that show. That is, if the builder sends the publication a press release and a high-res photo of the boat ahead of time!

But don’t let the builder hog all the limelight surrounding the debut of a new model or new custom yacht on the international or domestic stage. Partner with the builder’s marketing director to develop a media launch scenario for the boat that will be a win-win for both of you. If the new boat is going to make its debut in your display at a boat show, be sure your company’s name is on the invitation along with the builder’s name. If you have a good relationship with the new boat’s owners, ask them if they will agree to be interviewed by a journalist(s) about it, either under their own names or anonymously. Many yachting publications consider a yacht owner interview to be a “home run”, since it gives their readers a peer’s perspective on the new vessel.

If you are going have a new model or new custom yacht in the water at your company’s location for any length of time, talk to the builder’s marketing director about the possibility of hosting a sea trial for journalists on board. If that transpires, be sure to place a member of your own team on the yacht for the sea trial who is well versed in the boat’s features and benefits. He or she may wind up being quoted in the resulting articles, which means more publicity for your firm.

Yacht brokers and charter brokers who have older boats among their central listings have a tougher job when it comes to getting media attention for them. Still, there are many yachting publications, both online and in print, that cover “Brokerage News” and “Charter News” – including this one! The important thing is to research these publications and remember to submit your new central listings and recent sales, along with high-res photos of the yachts when available, by their monthly deadlines. As the lottery slogan goes, “You Can’t Win if You Don’t Play.”

If you have a new brokerage or charter listing that has recently undergone a major refit or is historically significant, be sure to submit that news (along with a photo) to the yachting publications as well. The details of a major “gutted to the bulwarks” refit and old black-and-white photos from the Golden Age of Yachting make good content for yachting publications, and the editors know it. Don’t hesitate to submit interesting stories about your listings to non-marine luxury lifestyle publications as well. (See lottery slogan above.)

If, as we so often hear from our clients, you feel you don’t have the time or the talent to write up and send news submissions and photos to the media every month, consider (shamelss author selfpromotion alert!) hiring an outside agency to handle this for you. Any resulting publicity for your listings and increased brand awareness for your company can be well worth this minor marketing expense.

As you well know, the international yachting industry is a very small world, and you probably already have been rubbing elbows with many of the journalists who cover it for a couple of decades. Instead of sending your news to a publication’s “Info@” email address, it works much better to submit it personally to an editor, writer, or a freelancer you know who regularly contributes to that magazine, newsletter or website. If you don’t know any yachting journalists, seek them out at the various yachting industry functions, seminars and boat shows you attend, buy them a drink, and build those relationships. We don’t bite – most of the time!