I’ve been CEO of Cut Communications for a number of years and have worked with clients to help them make the most of attending industry exhibitions. Here, I’ve shared my top tips on how to maximise your exposure to the press, by holding a show stopping press conference…
1. It’s all about news! Fundamental to the success of a press conference is the TOPIC! To be successful and attract the journalists, make sure that you have some really interesting news to share.
2. It’s all about the person! The press want to hear from your company’s management, those who are able to speak to the media and can handle the questions. Put up your CEO or Managing Director and you will get the media interested in coming to hear what they have to say.
3. What makes a great press conference? Content and presentation followed by time for questions. Lengthy speeches or PowerPoint presentations aren’t going to cut it unless they are crammed with facts, and statistics that journalists have not seen before. Also, always leave time for questions at the end.
4. Make it interesting in 15 minutes! You only have a 30 minute slot at any press conference timetable at an ibtm event for example, so make sure you can present your story in that time and allow the next 15 minutes for the journalists to ask their own questions.
5. Practise makes perfect – it may seem obvious but you will come across better if you know what you are talking about and don’t need to “read” from your presentation.
6. Think about your Q&A session. Make a list of likely questions and prepare your responses. Decide in advance who is the best person to tackle certain issues or questions.
7. Even though we try to operate a paper free press office, there is no running away from the fact that reporters like handouts. If you can, print out your news release ahead of the conference and make sure there is a copy for anyone who would like one.
8. With social media being so important now, it’s smart to have somebody posting updates during the press conference to your Twitter feed or Facebook page. Be ready to answer questions on here too – there’s nothing worse than a company posting something and not being willing to engage with their audience afterwards.
9. Try to enjoy it. This is a great opportunity for you to have direct access to some of the leading meetings industry journalists from across the globe. Make the most of it!