Holding a press conference the right way

Whether you’re new in your respective industry or have been a major player for a good number of years, you need to be in full control of any newsworthy events and happenings in your company. This is particularly true if you are opening a new branch, launching a new product or service, announcing a merger, or more. Needless to say, with events like these, it is always a great idea to hold a press conference. This way, the relevant factions in your industry will know about it, and your clients will have something new to look forward to.

Step 1: Sending out invites:

The first step when you are planning to hold a proper (note the emphasis on the word ‘proper’) news conference is to pick the date, time, and location for it. It is always good to schedule it about a week or two in advance, so the media can have time to include it in their schedules as well, and you will have time to follow up. Send out your invitations via email through a media advisory, and follow it up during the days preceding the conference through phone calls to the press representatives you have invited. Remember to prepare a pitch for the event as well – make your news convincing enough to arouse the interest of reporters.

One tip: let reporters know if there will be visuals, videos, and other images, as this will pique their interest even more.

Step 2: Setting up the event:

The basics for a press conference are as follows: the podium, sound system, visual backdrops like banners and posters, and drinks for the speaker/s. You should also prepare materials for the press in advance, such as a press release, a short video about the topic (have the video transcribed by a professional transcription service for a more professional look), remarks from the speakers in writing, and other materials for your news event or campaign.

Step 3: Preparing your press conference topics and speakers:

If you have a number of speakers, don’t let them drag on for too long. A few minutes’ speaking should do the trick, especially if you would like to have time for the reporters to ask questions. Make sure to plan the order of each speaker, how long they have to speak, and what their topic will be. A moderator should be on hand to welcome everyone, identify the speakers, and outline the topics to be discussed. The same moderator should also deliver the closing remarks, thank everyone for coming, and encourage the guests to contact them or any company representative for more information.

One trick of the trade: to give a better impression to the press, have the other organisation leaders stand behind the main speakers for a good show of support.

Step 4: During and after the conference:

Whilst the conference is ongoing, make sure to have it digitally recorded. Once the press conference is finished, remember to send out your press releases and any written transcriptions of the event to reporters who couldn’t make it. Edit the video to include highlights and graphics and have it professionally transcribed for better impact, then send it to other news agencies, upload it onto your website, and send it to bloggers.

When you think about it, holding a proper press conference is really not that difficult. You just have to know what to do both before, during, and after; how to prepare for it, and what to expect, and your press conference will be a guaranteed success.

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