Media events can be an effective way to get publicity for your business, school, organization or cause. Before I go any further, media events are NOT press conferences. What’s the difference? A press conference is used to announce and/or update breaking news as it unfolds. Press conferences (a.k.a, “pressers”) are a way to communicate with the media on major news items such as a crisis or major break in a criminal investigation/trial. The President, public officials, or Federal, state and sometimes local agencies will hold press conferences.
Media events, however, are about promoting (for you) and providing a good news story (for the media and its/your audience), especially broadcast media. How do you pull of a successful media event? With time, thought and lots of planning.
In this week’s post, I cover four key components of a successful media event. I’ll cover four more next week.
1. Understand your goal
Media events require manpower and money so before you rush in, it’s really important to understand your goals and objectives for the event and how that fits into your overall marketing goals and objectives. Is it a grand opening, groundbreaking or check presentation event? Sure, you can invite the media to these types of events but depending on your financial and staffing resources, you might be better off hiring a professional photographer for the event and sending the photos and a press release to the media.
2. Visit your venue ahead of time
If you’re not familiar with the location of your media event, plan a day to check it out. Spend some time exploring the area with your senses in high alert. Look and listen to everything that could enhance or hinder your event. Take photos and notes you can reference later as you visualize the details of your event.
3. Pick a media friendly day and time
There are many differing opinions about the best day and time to hold media events. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays mid-morning (after 10 and before noon) or early afternoon (no later than 2 p.m.) have worked best for me.
4. Schedule speakers and invite guests early
The longer you have to plan your event, the better. Whether you have a few weeks or a few months, scheduling speakers and deciding who to invite to the event (other than media) should happen once you know the date, time and location or your event.
Don’t forget to check back next week for four more key components of a successful media event.