Imagine the scene: You’re excited about some fantastic news about your organization, you arrange a press conference, and then thud. Few, if any, media show up. And you get virtually no publicity.
So, what went wrong? There are many possible reasons that media conferences fail. Here are five reasons your next media event could be a dud:
1. Your media conference is not conveniently located. Distance is often a major factor whether media will attend. If it will take a reporter and/or a photographer/videographer several hours to reach your event, and then several hours to get back to the office to file footage or a report, you’re not looking at great odds for attendance. Editors and producers weigh the time required to attend vs the news value. They won’t use staff to go the distance to your event, if they can get better bang for their buck closer to the office.
2. Your timing is inconsiderate. This is often one of the most overlooked considerations. If you hold your media conference late in the day, say about 4:30 p.m., you’re no friend of the media. When it’s this late in the day, editors, reporters and producers are staring at fast-approaching deadlines. They may not have time for you. Whenever possible, ALWAYS hold your media conferences early in the day. About 10 a.m. is a perfect time. It’s perfectly timed for the beginning hours of reporters’ day shifts. That leaves plenty of time for reporting about you and your organization.
3. Your media conference is on a Friday. Want to really annoy reporters and editors? Hold your media conference on a Friday late in the day. This is exactly where every reporter wants to be (sarcasm) as thoughts turn to enjoying the weekend.
4. Your media conference has no ‘story’ hook. Holding a media conference with no predetermined hook for media will turn your event into a groaner. Reporters will sit and wonder, “Why are we here?” They will be far more scrutinizing whether to attend one of your events again. Don’t take this risk. Have a legitimate reason for media to show up. Wasting media’s time and resources doesn’t go over well in this age of staff cutbacks and heavy workload.
5. Your event includes no backgrounders or factsheets. Reporters take notes. But they sure appreciate a little helping hand. A solid backgrounder and factsheet saves them time asking basic questions about your organization and event. Not having these simple staples for media can mean an extra 20 minutes of a reporter’s time gathering information you should’ve provided at the outset. Being media-friendly means you are doing the little things to help save time for media.