When you prepare for your next event, you want as many people as possible to hear about it. So it could be worth inviting media outlets along to the show.
Arranging to get good media coverage before, during, and after an event will go a long way to maximising its impact.
1. Who to Invite?
First, make a list of the media outlets that tend to write about your type of event. These may include newspapers, magazines, websites, social media sites, radio programs, and TV shows.
Most of these outlets list the journalists that work there, and some even list their areas of interest. Journalists are eager for stories to come to them — it saves them the work of hunting down stories themselves!
Identify the key message(s) you want your event to convey (politicians call them ‘talking points’) and craft your pitch around them. Then contact your media outlet by phone, fax, or email.
Media outlets typically state on their website how story leads should be submitted. If you targeted a specific journalist, give them a brief follow-up call to ensure they received your message. Offer to send them tickets for your event. If they can’t personally attend, ask if they would like a media package to write about the event. The package could include text, photos, and best of all, videos.
Sometimes, media outlets may contact you in advance to ask for a press pass. If that happens, check their credentials and ensure that they are a good fit.
There are plenty of associations, member groups, bloggers who will ask for press passes, but do you want them at your show? Are their outlets well respected? Target press outlets that cover your industry sector or that are well-respected and can increase your profile.
2. Don’t control, influence
The best way to get your event message across is by giving journalists a well-crafted media release. If they want to write their own copy, don’t ask to censor it first. Doing so will attack their journalistic values.
If you are touchy about what they’re going to write, don’t invite them! It’s better to not have them there then ask them to come along with caveats.
If you have media guidelines, set them out on your website or at least in advance of the event. Make them clear, reasonable, and easy to understand.
If possible, arrange for journalist to conduct meaningful interviews. These could include key sponsors, speakers, personalities, or VIPs. This will keep your audience happy and make the life easier for the journalists.
If the journalist can’t do the interview personally, provide them with suitable quotes in your media package.
4. Media room
If you have a larger event, you will do well to set up a media room equipped with internet, sofas, media partners magazines, and industry literature. Consider including AV, food, tea and coffee if needed or if budgets allow.
It’s helpful to have all your media in one place, so that visitors to the event know where to go. It also allows the journalists to extend the amount of time they spend at your show.
5. Follow up afterwards
Consider following up with the media afterwards by sending a post-event release or information pack.
Above all, be sure to thank any outlets or journalists that covered your event. This will help build relationships you can build on in the future.
Boost your media coverage by inviting targeted media outlets to your event. Send them a well-crafted media package, including photos and video, before and after the event. At the event, arrange for interesting interviews, and provide a suitably equipped media room.