Fake Interviews for Everything?

"There's sensitivity to sponsored news right now," admits KEF Media Associates' Yvonne Goforth, adding that her firm is doing more to target satellite media tours (SMTs) -- sponsored and often scripted television "interviews" -- to local TV stations. "The smaller markets are the ones embracing SMTs," notes PR Week, especially those on "lifestyle, technology, consumer, and house care" topics. For a recent SMT promoting "Together Rx Access," a pharmaceutical industry program, KEF Media told local stations "how many people are uninsured in that area, how many people this program will affect, how many kids are uninsured in that area," explains Goforth. With "a good spokesperson, a good topic, and ... some news that relates back to [viewers'] lives, you can do an SMT for everything," Goforth enthuses. Medialink Worldwide is also regionalizing its SMTs. For a recent Aflac-sponsored SMT with a baseball theme, Medialink informed stations of local children involved in the "All-American High School Baseball Classic."