Once press conferences were all the rage but those days are almost gone. Journalists are seeking more creative ideas from public relations professionals – they want to be informed, educated and entertained. To help you get the attention of targeted journalists, I present you with four ways to enliven your press event and make it more appealing to members of the press and your company’s senior executives.
1. Choose a visually appealing venue
Organising a press event in a simple room or in the lobby of your office does not sound inspiring. Instead, find a venue that represents your brand and reflects its values. If your company produces beer, it would be a great idea to provide the press with an opportunity to visit the brewery and get good visuals to fill out the information they get from the press event. Another illustrative example is the Danish jewellery brand Pandora. To inform about and showcase its fall-winter collection, Pandora settled in a chic rue Saint-Honoré in the Opéra neighbourhood. As Laurence Defaux, Pandora’s Communication Manager, explains ‘We were looking for a place in which our jewels could be magnified, like in a precious box’. Also, the venue was located next to the French press offices of the company, what also contributed to the success of the press event.
2. Organise a media roundtable
A media roundtable involves inviting a few targeted media members for an informal interview with the company’s senior executives. The primary goal of this tactic is to educate media participants through short and informative discussions with the spokespeople, making sure that all experiences and expectations are aligned. While choosing whom to interview, evaluate their backgrounds by reading what they have written or said in blogs, industry-press by-liners, conference presentations, white papers or Tweets and Facebook posts. Also, ask them what they want to cover to get a clear picture of what they have to offer. One more point to consider is to have a practice session with the senior executives to help them prepare for possible questions from the moderator.
3. Plan a media tour
Another alternative to a press event is a press tour that creates outstanding opportunities to build relationships with the target media. A typical press tour is designed to get your company’s senior executives in front of the relevant members of the press for face-to-face conversations. Once you have decided to organise a press tour, make a list of all the press people in the location you plan your tour. It is a good idea to first call them and introduce yourself. Since journalists are often busy, it is advisable that you meet with them for an informal interview at their office or in a place around their office. Besides, you should always ask yourself the why-question, that is “why should I meet with your company?”. If you cannot answer it yourself, do not expect that the members of the media will have a clear answer to this question.
4. Offer an exclusive
When offering an exclusive, bear in mind that it does not necessarily mean that you will get covered. First, your press release should be attractive and newsworthy to journalists. For example, it might be a new product launch, a new feature of your product or a great partnership your company has forged. Next, consider which media outlet and specific journalist to approach. Apart from that, find out what your target audience is reading because reaching a broad audience is not always a good idea. Approach the publication, negotiate the exclusive and then be as detailed as possible. Just remember that the main idea behind offering an exclusive is to most effectively spread your information.
In this article I shared with you four ways in which you can enliven your press event and make it more exciting and appealing to the press and senior executives of your company. Do you know other tactics? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Article written by Liudmila Kazak
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Newman, K. 2018. 4 Tips for Planning and Hosting a Successful Roundtable [online]. Available from: https://www.eventmanagerblog.com/organising-successful-roundtables [Accessed 15 August 2018].
Primack, D. 2010. How and when to give a media 'exclusive' [online]. Available from: http://fortune.com/2010/10/18/how-and-when-to-give-a-media-exclusive/ [Accessed 15 August 2018].
Rudawsky, G. 2011. 6 Ways to Enliven—Or Replace—A Boring Press Conference [online]. Available from: https://www.prdaily.com/mediarelations/Articles/6_ways_to_enlivenor_replacea_boring_press_conferen_8435.aspx [Accessed 14 August 2018].