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Should I Hold a Press Conference?

Good question! Most often, no – don’t hold a press conference. But if you have to, here are seven Tips.

So, you have read about the impending death of the news media. Well, while it is an exaggeration, things are not looking great for most traditional media outlets. And that means fewer reporters – and fewer people to go to your event. So, you have to have a very good reason for them to show up. But, if you must hold a presser – here are few tips:

1. Be clear what the news is – if there is no news, expect no media – put the news factor up front and make it clear.

2. Have it somewhere the media is or can go. Top of mountain might be scenic, but unless it is HUGE, don’t expect the media to drive 1 hour to be there. So, are three lots of news bureaus at the state house? Or city hall? Is there a location near TV and newspapers?

3. Send the details in Use a Who, What, Where, When format – and it does not hurt to call a few outlets and see what date, time and location work best for them. A media alert (and please don’t put “for immediate release” on it unless it is for that day’s news cycle).

4. Ask first – call your key media targets and be sure that they can come that day or time – or location.

5. Call to do follow-up – you may have to talk a few reporters into coming, and then you will have an idea of who will be there.

Or, try a media call. Sometimes a simple conference call works better than a full press press conference.

6. Keep it to 5 or fewer speakers, and try to keep each one to less than 5 minutes. But start with someone who can frame the issue well, and explain why it matters.

7. Lastly have printed copies of all speeches, that make it easier for the media, and you can share with the ones who could not make it.

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