A Co-operative Approach to Fake News

Julie Edelman, in a co-op tour for five companies

When one satellite media tour (SMT) -- a sponsored, canned TV "interview" -- promotes multiple products, it's called a "co-op media tour." PR Week reports that "co-op media tours are on the rise, and not just because they spread the production costs among multiple brands." Michele Wallace of the broadcast PR firm Medialink Worldwide says that "numerous products centered around a theme ... can provide a pretty strong news hook that may not be there when you focus on one product." PR Week's tips include making "sure your co-op tour doesn't appear too commercialized." News Broadcast Network's Matthew Smith says disclosure concerns haven't affected "the overall interest in co-op tours," but adds that "stations want to know if the spokesperson is being paid and by whom so they can convey that to the audience." Whether TV stations actually do provide that disclosure to viewers is another matter altogether.