A press event is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with the media to generate understanding and awareness by the public for your press-worthy news. Our team has helped our clients host many press events over the years, and the key to success is when you have clear objectives, well-defined logistics, and you are well organized to implement everything well.
Here’s our list of the Top Six Tips when hosting a press event.
TIP ONE: have a clear objective in mind.
Why are you hosting a press event in the first place? Are you launching a new product or service? Are you making a major announcement? Is it newsworthy? Once you understand the objective, you’ve completed the most important step.
TIP TWO: plan out the logistics.
This is the who, what, where, and when of the press event. Write down who needs to be involved and invited, what the schedule or flow of the event will entail, where you will host the event, and the details of the date and time of day. We suggest hosting a press event both earlier in the week and earlier in the day. This generally helps the media write and publish their stories for afternoon and evening newscasts.
When choosing a location, consider accessibility, parking for attendees, and noise levels of the surrounding area. There’s nothing worse for media outlets who rely on audio for their story (i.e.: radio or TV) to have loud background noises interfering with their interview audio.
TIP THREE: build out your media list.
Put together a list of local media, as well as more provincial or national media who may attend, depending on the announcement. It’s also a good idea to consider bloggers and influencers who cover topics related to your announcement. For those media who cannot attend, let them know you’ll send a press release with photos and captions after the event, plus opportunities to set up interviews so you still get your announcement covered broadly.
TIP FOUR: write a media advisory and press release.
A media advisory is concise information distributed to the media to inform and excite them about your announcement. Make sure there is something newsworthy for your press event, otherwise, media may not attend. Don’t send out a generic invite to all media – invite reporters/journalists/bloggers individually and confirm if they can attend. Write a press release you can distribute at the event which has more information about the announcement with quotes from those involved in the announcement, as well as additional details, statistics and general information which will help reporters build out their story. For those media who cannot attend, distribute the press release after the event is over.
TIP FIVE: create an event flow.
Make sure everyone is on the same page and create an event flow so that people know how long they have to talk, the order of speakers, and what they need to cover. Try keeping these events to under 20 minutes with ample opportunity for reporters to do a one-to-one interview after the formal part of the press event. You can do a general question and answer period for the media, but often reporters like to ask questions to create a unique story for their publication.
TIP SIX: prepare your presenters.
Those speaking and participating in the announcement need to understand why you’re hosting the press event and the objectives. They also need to understand the key messages of the story you want to tell. Ensure everyone is on the same page and focused on three key messages to help achieve the objectives you’re aiming for.
Remember, press events are a great opportunity to share your story or announcement. With a deliberate and well-executed plan, a press event can be an effective tool to help you achieve your communications objectives.
Some of our clients' press events:
Kelson Group celebrating the ground breaking ceremony of its newest development project, City Gardens
Kelson Group cutting the ribbon of its City Gardens' Sales Centre and Show Suite
ARPA Investments cutting the ribbon of its Show Suite at BSRE - North Shore branch for its newest development, Thompson Landing on Royal
ARPA Investments celebrating the launch of Yew Street Food Hall
Day One Society celebrating its 50th anniversary and announcing the Society's new name and rebrand