Develop a Press Conference Logistics Strategy

Dave Scelba - 03/04/2014

Remember the old saying, timing is everything?  Well it’s true, so just remember even if you’ve created the best feel good, heartfelt story, and the majority of the media sent an RSVP that they’ll be there, some things, like the weather, are completely out of your control. So plan for the unexpected and pray you’re not hit with a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, typhoon, or any other natural or unnatural disaster  With that in mind you should always have your own photographer and video crew to cover the press conference. Immediately following the event upload the photos and select video clips to an FTP server. If something happens and some of the press can’t show up, e-mail and text message them the FTP link so they can still run your story with photos and/or video clips supplied by you.

Having a logistics strategy will help you coordinate everything during the press conference and ensure it runs smoothly.Research, pre-planning and rehearsals are a must. Here’s some food for thought and checklist to consider:

Press Conference Logistics Check List:

  1. Find out what other events may be going on and try to schedule around them.
  2. Look to the long term weather forecast, if a storm is brewing and timing isn’t critical, postpone to better days.
  3. If you want coverage on the 6:00 PM news, it’s better have the press conference earlier in the day
  4. If possible choose a central location that all media could easily travel to
  5. Prepare the room with VIP guest seating a  speakers area and reserved media/press area
  6. Make sure microphones and any presentation display equipment is working
  7. Provide press packets or an agenda with written directions to web landing pages for photos and releases or a URL to your FTP server.
  8. Display step-and-repeat logo backdrops behind speakers.
  9. Strategically place signage and posters directing media and guests to the registration/check-in desks and also to the rooms or areas for the official  press conference
  10. Assign receptionists for distributing name tags and after the conference press begins to assemble the refreshments area table.

Every aspect of the press conference needs to be entertaining, so come up with creative ways to keep the journalists, reporters and guests amused while they are registering and proceeding to their designated areas. It’s important to maintain and exude positive energy, attitude and confidence. Even if they need to move from one area or room to another, the process should have entertaining attributes with various facets that educate the press and guests alike. This will help set the stage for a “feel good” interactive exchange and engagement once the press conference begins.

Download our e-book Conducting a Successful Press Conference and get tips on: establishing the purpose for a press conference; creating a compelling story; managing and coordinating journalist and reporters at the press conference and good post event follow-up.

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