Prepare for the media at your next event
If you are running a business event or an event which could be of national or local interest then it could be worth inviting members of the media / press along to the show. There are of course plenty of considerations to take in to account in preparing for them.
Invitations – Ensure that you actually get round to sending out invites and set aside a rough number of tickets you’d like for them at the show. Bear in mind however that journalists will often work to tight deadlines and they need to always prioritise their work. They do therefore have a high drop out rate, obviously this depends on the nature of your event.
Relevance – It’s likely that you may get press contact you in advance to ask for a press pass. Check their credentials and ensure that they are a good fit. There are plenty of associations, member groups, bloggers who will ask for press passes, have a think, do you want them at your show? Is the publication they work actually well respected and would you want to be featured in there. Do not be afraid of turning away press if you have limited space. Instead target members of the press in your sector or from well respected organisations who you would like at the show.
Don’t control what they write – Journalists can often take great offence at being asked to submit an article to the organiser before they print it. It will often attack their journalistic values and it does undermine the idea of a free press. If you aren’t happy with what they’re going to write then it’s simple, don’t invite them! It’s better to not have them there then ask them to come along with caveats.
Be prepared – If possible help setup interviews in advance for them. Contact key sponsors, speakers, personalities or VIPs and see if you can arrange a time for them to be interviewed. This will keep your audience happy and make the life easier for the press. Do bear in mind that this could be cancelled at the last minute.
Press area – If you have a larger event then setup a press area for them with internet, sofas, media partners magazines and industry literature. It’s a good way to have all your media in one place so that visitors to the event know where to go. Consider including AV, food, tea and coffee if needed or if budgets allow. It means that the press have an area they can work in on other jobs too and it allows them to extend the amount of time they spend at your show.
Guidelines – If possible set out your press guidelines on your website or at least in advance of the event. Make it clear and easy to understand and explain it to any press who you do register.
We hope these tips help, as always when it comes to working with press, it’s all about preparation and being open minded.
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