Organizing a press event or conference is an excellent idea if you have an important announcement to make, yet most companies do it when they end up with problems. Therefore, a lot of journalists and other attendees will be seriously annoyed for wasting their time.
Press events give journalists the possibility to ask questions, which is something that they cannot do if you write a press release. They can write news according to their own necessities, not to mention about the needs of the publications they represent.
Managing a press conference is not always easy, but the earnings can be exquisite.
What a press conference is supposed to look like
A press event must be announced only when you have news that might draw a lot of attention. The event should be promoted long before it occurs. Make sure that you do not organize it in the middle of the night because journalists have some deadlines to meet. Unless you announce World War 3, they are less likely to wait for you.
You are free to bring in some bottled water for your guests. Avoid exaggerating with foods or drinks because reporters might become suspicious. The management must be there to answer all kinds of questions, but the managers should also be instructed on how to do it.
Sadly enough, a lot of managers take the press for a pain, so they choose to avoid commenting. In my opinion, this is a terrible idea that can be very frustrating.
It is definitely a good idea to organize the press conference by the book. Once the news or announcement is complete, reserve a specific period of time for the communication with the press. Journalists like to be provoked, so they dislike having all the details at their disposal. Keep some aspects secret and keep the conference short. This way, journalists will have a decent load of questions to spam you with.
Finally, it is highly recommended to contact journalists on a regular basis regarding some tips and tricks. Find out what they would like to hear, but also ask for a few tips regarding press events. This way, they will be more likely to participate to your conferences.
Organizing a press event by the book
There are a few basic rules to keep in mind if you want to organize a high quality press conference.
- Schedule the event according to the journalists’ terms.
- Consult local journalists upfront.
- Make sure that all the managers will be present. They should be updated to all the potential questions that might arise.
- Do not forget that the press is on your side as long as there is something to get from you.