Event management of press conferences. Find out how to organize press conferences. Your idea of hell: pandemonium at the press conference; jostling reporters chomping after frightened keynote speakers and suit-clad business executives. Do yourself a favor by properly planning a press conference; and keep both the journalists and the executives in their places, grinning and glad.
Sometimes, a simple press release or email cannot suffice. When a company burns with the need to unleash a fiery new idea, it calls a press conference. Due to the hectic schedules of reporters, press conferences usually last for 30-45 minutes.
HOW TO PLAN A PRESS CONFERENCE
The first brick to building a successful press conference is determining its theme. Press conferences may promote products, apologize for incidents, launch marketing campaigns, or inform shareholders of finances.
When to plan a press conference? Tuesday and Thursday late afternoons are prime time placement, while Mondays, Fridays and evenings are the worst choices. Check for competing events and conferences to avoid being one-upped.
The chosen venue should be easily accessible with an abundance of parking. No on-the-go journalist wants to arrive two minutes before the conference start and spend five minutes seeking a parking spot. Choose a location suitable to the mood of the event (e.g. secretive or informative). A dank and deserted basement may fit a “industry-domination-plan” type conference, but is less than apposite for a shareholders meeting.
A triumphant press conference creates tidal waves; a pathetic one causes ripples and a few splashes. The differentiator: marketing. Target the primary audience (specific caliber and type of journalists) and distribute heaps of press releases, media advisories, emails, phone calls and worth-of-mouth tips.
Captivating speakers and presentations separate monotonous press conferences from dramatic ones. Choose 2-4 keynote speakers. They should be of high repute, with impeccable credentials and lots of charisma. Their presentations should not emulate one another – one can welcome and introduce, another present the main concept, and another relate the main concept to human interests. Powerful audiovisual materials will give journalists and photographers extra ammunition for their forthcoming articles.
Opinions, disagreements and arguments may fly fast and hard in a heated press conference. To avoid a Chernobyl-type explosion, with injurious media fallout, hire effective crowd control. Ushers should help seat journalists and arrange their equipment, and Q&A sessions require a neutral moderator to direction questioning.
When journalists enter, they should receive a press conference packet. This should include an agenda, facts, statistics, graphs and charts.
Then after 30 minutes, it’s over. Such is the life of an event manager.