Apr 24

Press Events 101

Earlier this month, Sabo PR helped the Kent County Dispatch Authority host a press event for their announcement of Smart911™. Another week, another press event, right? Not quite. Weeks prior to the event, team Sabo had carefully planned every detail of the press event. From sugar cookie favors to labeled name tags, everything had been meticulously arranged and painstakingly branded.

As a rule, press events take a lot of prep before the event as well as hard work afterwards to maximize the announcement. Planning, coordination and attention to detail are key to a pulling off a great event.

Below are 5 steps that go into the makings of a media conference.

  1. Create a communication plan. Start with the 5 Ws — who, what, where, when and why — to form the event and craft the messaging. Nailing down a date and time are important, but so is language. Cultivating key messages are the foundation to your communication plan and inform the rest of the event.
  2. Inform the media. If you’ve already sent a great press release, the media will be aware of your event. It’s always a good idea to send an invitation, through a media advisory, directly to specific media outlets. Following up with a personal phone call or leaving a note with the assignment desk closer to the event will ensure better media attendance.
  3. Prepare your visuals. Depending on the space of the media event, you will want to create eye-catching visuals that are easily read by everyone in the room. Be mindful not to obstruct any cameras and frame your speaker.
  4. Social media campaign and cross-platform branding. Before the event, create a social media calendar that will strategically bring your message to key followers. Make sure to brand cross-platform and maximize the tools each medium offers. Investing in a Facebook campaign or Instagram contest will maximize the events effectiveness long after the announcement.
  5. Monitor media and share coverage. Between traditional media and social media, there should be a singular, cohesive message moving forward from the press event. Make sure to share and like any articles or clips from your event and tag the outlet for greater reach.

At Sabo PR, we know that a news camera and a great tweet will only get you so far. In the weeks leading up to the Smart911 event, the Sabo team had regular check-ins to make sure every detail was accounted for, ongoing lists with endless check marks and masterful coordination between pick-up times and drop-offs. These steps took our Smart911 event from scribbled notes on a page to fully realized event complete with media outlets, interviews and an advertising campaign.

The day of the event, I had the vantage point of running the on-screen media presentation. Perched in front of my laptop at the front of the room, it was with satisfaction and relief that the first slide clicked on. The hard work had paid off.

One thought on “Press Events 101”

  1. Robin Keith says:

    “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell.

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