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How to Organise a Successful Press Conference

When you have something significant to announce, holding a Press Conference is the greatest way to make it known. In some cases, noteworthy bits of news can be released through simple Press Releases but sometimes nothing but a well-organised Press Conference would suffice. Primarily it is extremely important to be clear on the goals of the Press Conference.

So, if you want to know how to organise a successful Press Conference, you’ve just stumbled upon the best blog to show you how.

Step 1: Decide on a date & time – make sure your intended date does not clash with any major event already announced. Giving enough advance notice of atleast one week to the media outlets will ensure they can put you in their calendar. Preferred time should be around 10am during the workweek. Weekends or public holidays are not ideal (unless it is a critical emergency Press Conference)

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Step 2: Choose a venue – try to choose a location that is fairly centrally located with sufficient parking or easy access to public transport. Provide a map location to ensure no one gets lost getting there. Arrange with the venue for refreshments/F&B

Step 3: Invite the Media & Guests – send a Press Conference advisory to all the media outlets you want to invite. Two days prior to the event, make calls to all those who confirmed, just as a gentle reminder. Along with the media you may want to invite other guest attendees from the company or relevant industry

Step 4: Confirm AV facilities – ensure the venue has audio-video equipment that is in excellent working order. Don’t forget to test the equipment including cordless mics, clip-on mics, podium mics, built-in screens, etc. well before the event date and insist on having the venues’ AV expert at the event in case of last-minute glitches

Step 5: Appoint a Moderator/MC – having an effective Moderator or Master of Ceremonies (MC) will help in introducing speakers, fielding questions from journalists and bringing the room to order, if required and finally closing the event

Step 6: Test Internet – having a good internet connection should be standard at any good venue. This will not only help the media send details of the Press Conference back to their office immediately but it may allow them to livestream to their channel

Step 7: Media Kits – in the past, printing a file full of documents was the way this was done. Currently it would be a better, eco-friendly option to have all this info handed out on a data stick. To make it easier for you, you’ll find the list of what should be in the media kit at the end of this blog

Step 8: Branding – avoid a bland, blank background and make sure you arrange for branding so that the company name is clearly visible in all photos. Whether it is a large backdrop or roll-up stands, there should be no doubt of which company is holding the Press Conference

Step 9: Make a Checklist – as with any event, making a checklist will save you tears later so do it! You don’t want to forget the little things like the table cards, name badges, branding items, sign in sheet for the media, etc.

Step 10: Arrange for a welcome desk – You don’t want people just wandering in and not being felt welcomed. Arrange for one or two of your team to be at the welcome desk to log in which media outlets sent their reporter and to have your team on hand to answer any basic queries

Step 11: Check the Set-Up – get to the venue early and ensure everything is set-up as required with a long table at the front with clearly visible name cards, enough space for the photographer to set up their camera stands and evenly spaced-out seating for the media. Do a final AV check and arrange for any minor fixes before the client and media arrive

Step 12: Stay alert – after the ‘speeches’, the floor will be opened to the media for Q&A so keep track of the questions along with which media outlet asked it.

Step 13: Monitor for media coverage – check the extent of the coverage for each of the media outlets that were represented at the Press Conference and keep a record. Also don’t forget to update your database with any new contacts you may have gotten from the event

Final Thoughts:

Treat all the journalists equally without showing favouritism or you may see an undesirable result in the quality of their reporting. As with any event, if there is any delay in starting the Press Conference, make sure to keep the attendees informed.

Decide on a clear agenda so things are done step-by-step and kept within a time limit with speakers given 10 minutes or less each and the event including Q&A not going over 45 minutes from start to finish.

Figure out answers to potential questions that may be asked by the media so the speakers/moderator are not caught totally unawares.

If you or the company for whom you are organising the Press Conference require photos or a recording of the event, don’t forget to prearrange for a photographer/videographer.

What Is Included in a Media Kit (Electronic or Print):

These can also be added to the company website under a tab for ‘Media’.

  • Company Fact Sheet – information about the company including when it was established, where it is located, what is different about it, etc
  • Products and/or Services Fact Sheet – what are the products or services offered by the company (bullet points is best)
  • Senior Management Bios – a photo with a short bio about members of the Senior Management team
  • Speakers & Moderators Bio – a photo with a brief bio about the speakers of the Press Conference
  • Any Important Press Releases – copies of any recent press releases done within the last 6 months or so
  • Any Significant Press Coverage – copies of any recent articles about the company
  • Awards and Honours – photos of any recent awards or honours received within the last 3 years
  • Digital Artwork – high resolution images of the company logo, products and top-level management
  • Contact Information – provide contact details for the relevant person the media can get in touch with in case of any queries
  • Press Release – summarise the news item that is the topic of the Press Conference, the key message and information about the company.

 

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