Holding a press conference is one of the best promotions you can do for a product or service, or to establish a certain agenda. Gathering the press together gives your story a chance to be covered and therefore be known all over the place. However, you don’t just hold a press conference and expect the media to cover your story. You should be prepared and your story should be a newsworthy one.
Before you prepare, think it over—is holding a press conference the best thing to do? A press conference is your best choice if your story is newsworthy, interesting, and timely. Think of other ways to promote your products or spread the news. Maybe sending a press release is better than holding a press conference.
If you’re already sure that press conference is the best, then do the following preparation tips:
Prepare the place for press conference. There are many things you should considering when choosing the place and its accessibility to media people is one. Usually, a press conference is held in a place familiar to the media like the local municipal building or a hotel. You can also choose a place related to your product, like if you are selling something for students, then a school is a good choice.
Consider the place’s accommodation capacity, too. How many people do you expect to come at the press conference? If there will be TV coverage, the place should have enough space where to set up cameras. There should also be electrical outlets. If it will be an outdoor event, make sure you’ll have an alternative place in case of bad weather.
Choose the best time and day for the press conference. When talking about the best day for the press, it should be from Tuesday to Thursday. Mondays and Fridays are usually busy days with Mondays being the usual date for important meetings and events. Fridays, on the other hand, are busy days for beating the day’s and week’s deadlines. Weekend is a bad idea, too, because only a few staffs will be available to cover your press conference.
For the best time, it is ideal you choose morning, say from 9am to 11am. This way, the press conference can be a whole-day event and help mediamen beat the afternoon printing.
Whatever day and time you choose, make sure that you start the press conference on time. Media people are busy people. They still have other events to cover. Being on time will earn you respect from the media.
Invite. Sending media advisory is the best way to invite media people. The advisory should have all the information about the event. Send this thru fax, mail, or e-mail a week before the event to give editors time to think about the story and assign a reporter. Update them at least two days before the event so you can estimate how many will go. Calling them up will increase interest of the event, too.
Prepare materials. Have a checklist of everything you need for the press conference like good speakers, microphone, lights, tables, chairs, fact sheet, press release, presentation materials, and foods.
Preparing for a press conference can be a daunting task. But as long as you do it right, you will see the great impact. Ask help, too, because there are surely a lot of things to do for the preparation. This way, you can lighten your load and focus on more important things like the press conference’s content.