When your company has significant hard news that you want to release to a big audience, you may want to consider holding a press conference. This is the best way to concisely present your news to the media and to get as much attention as possible. However, a successful press conference is a big event, and one that requires a great deal of planning and preparation, so it is important that any company looking to host a successful event keep a few key points in mind.
Why Should You Hold a Press Conference?
You should hold a press conference in order to deliver newsworthy information to the public and to find a time to answer media questions in a succinct manner. This is not an opportunity for a public relations stunt. The most important thing to remember when hosting a press conference is that the information you are announcing needs to be newsworthy. You probably shouldn’t be holding a press conference to announce that you have a new client; a press release would be more appropriate for that. However, if you are revealing a new scientific breakthrough, industry-changing product or something that you know will get interest from the media, it is best to hold a press conference.
This allows you to reveal your announcement in front of television and newspaper reporters, and it allows you to answer questions that the media may have right away. If you know that there will be a lot of questions, this is a much more efficient manner of addressing the media then sending out a press release and answering individual calls and emails regarding your announcement.
How Do You Hold a Press Conference?
When you have decided to hold a press conference, you need to find a place and time to hold your event. You can hold the conference outside your place of business or in a prominent area of your business district. It should be somewhere that is easy for the media to get to and easy for them to find. Set the conference up for the morning, at a convenient time for all parties involved. Once you set a time, make sure to follow up with all of the media outlets you invited. Send out a release announcing the press conference and send follow-up reminders.
When the press conference starts, make sure to greet the media when they arrive and to get things started on time. You never want to make members of the media wait. Make sure that they have a list of the names of everyone who is speaking (along with their titles) so they can report on exactly who spoke at the event and what their role in the company is.
Make sure to make time for questions at the end of the conference, but limit this time so the event doesn’t run for too long. You need to stay in control of the conference and be able to end the event when you want to.
Reputation Management and Your Press Conference
Many companies will hold a press conference as a reputation management strategy. Whether you are attempting to manage your reputation after bad PR or not, it is important to think about the way in which you are representing yourself in front of the media when you hold one of these conferences. You need to appoint a spokesperson who will be able to represent your company in a professional manner and who can handle difficult questions with poise and grace. You never know when a member of the media will ask an inappropriate question, and having the wrong spokesperson at the podium during these moments can result in a catastrophe. Keep this in mind when you decide who you want to appoint as your spokesperson.
With these tips in mind, any company looking to hold a successful press conference can organize an event that will put their company in a positive light in front of the media.
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