How to Plan a Press Conference
A press conference is a great way to announce the launch of a new product, introduce a new service or declare the growth of your business to new markets. It’s typically hosted by a company or the firm’s spokespersons and is a meeting with people from the media. If you’re planning a press conference, there’s a lot of groundwork that needs to be done to make it a success.
The most important aspect of a press conference is to make a good impression on members of the press, so your company can get positive media coverage. This requires a great deal of planning, as the messaging needs to be consistent, whether it is being spoken by your company representative or printed on your step and repeat banner, say experts at Print Banners.
Define the Message Clearly: Ensure that the announcement you’re about to make is newsworthy. Once you know what you wish to announce, make sure the message is consistent with your broader brand image. The messaging should also take into consideration your company’s culture and values. To ensure the focus remains on the main announcement, display it prominently on the invitations, in the press kit and on the step and repeat banners and backdrop banner stands.
Prepare for Questions: While defining the message clearly is important, the spokesperson should also be prepared to answer questions. It may help to make a list of possible queries, not just related to the announcement, but also your company and team at large. Remember that journalists love spicy bits of information and make probe into uncomfortable topics. The spokesperson should practice remaining calm and address these questions with grace.
Select a Date and Time: Give yourself at least two months to prepare for the press event. However, do not plan it too much into the future, else the news will become stale. Make sure that the date you select does not coincide with any other event. Check the dates of political, sporting and corporate events that may draw media attention.
Send Out the Invitations in Time: Make a list of the media outlets you wish to invite and select the reporters to whom you would be sending out the invitations. While emails and phone calls are appropriate, consider printing invitations to be sent through direct mail. You can have these printed along with the press kit and retractable step and repeat banners. Attractively designed invitations make a great first impression as they are a tangible promotional tool.
Plan for Photographs: Make sure you have enough step and repeat banners and stands placed at strategic locations, where reporters can take photographs of your team and products. You can choose retractable backdrop banners so that it can be conveniently moved to where the photographs are being taken. Don’t just depend on invited journalists for taking pictures. Hire a professional photographer and take a pose in front of a backdrop banner stand to share on social media.
Don’t forget to follow up after the press conference. Sending out thank you notes serves as a good gesture as well as a reminder.