How To Craft A Killer Press Conference

It’s time to announce a huge project coming up for your business. Change is on the horizon, and you’re ready to tell the world – and the media. You know you want to host a press conference, but coming up with creative press conference ideas can be daunting- where do you start?

How to craft a killer press conference

We’ve handled a few major announcements over the years, and arranged our fair share of press conferences. The ones that really stand out are the ones that take an exciting and innovative approach to sharing their news with the public. So, take it from us – the best press conference ideas are sometimes the most unusual. Here’s your guide to getting started, getting coverage, and rocking your next press conference.

The Basics

  • Consider the Timing: Remember that your goal is to get this announcement covered in the news, and distributed to the masses via the channels they control. So, your first step is to work within a normal news cycle. Most media outlets have a morning and afternoon meeting, so try to avoid scheduling your conference during those times. Do you want this to air on the evening news? Then give reporters adequate time to attend, grab footage, and put a clip together. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to call your local news stations and ask when is ideal for them. And keep it short. Don’t let remarks run over an hour, and cut down on multiple speakers giving lengthy talks. Time is valuable to the media, and you.
  • Location, Location, Location: It matters. Think about proximity to the news media you’re targeting (down the road is easier than an hour away) – but don’t sacrifice a great visual asset in the process. If you’re opening a new building, host a ribbon cutting at the new location. If you’re making a big announcement, try to choose a background that will translate nicely on camera. And if possible, don’t hesitate to “set the stage” and add in little touches to make your space stand out.
  • Be Flexible: Watch the news. Pay attention to what is happening that day, and be ready to make alternate plans if breaking news hits. Even little things like weather and sporting events can create conflict and take attendance away from your conference.

The Materials

  • Media Alert: Send a media alert the day prior to the press conference. Send it again on the morning of, about one to two hours before the conference is set to start.
  • Press Release: Send a press release ahead of time to the news outlets that you want to attend. Make sure to have physical copies at the event that you can hand out to all the members of the media who make it to the press conference. Don’t forget to send out a press release after the press conference announcing the news as well.
  • Work with the Media: After the press conference, make sure to pull a list of images or quotes that can be included with the press release you send. The media is stretched thin so having the additional shots might get you coverage from news outlets that were unable to attend. For media that is able to attend, plan for time before or after the event for them to conduct one on one interviews with your spokesperson.

The Extras

  • Fun it Up: The media are accustomed to attending press conferences where speakers stand at a podium, deliver a series of announcements, and then pose for a few pictures. And that format is fine – but if you can add in elements that break the norm, do. If appropriate and aligned with your message, serve food, decorate or theme the space, or offer guided tours of a new building opening up. Be sure to keep it relevant to your topic and audience.
  • Social is Your Friend: Live stream the conference on appropriate social channels, like Facebook or Instagram to get the most play out of your message. This is great for people who can’t attend but follow your company’s news, or for providing post-event details to media – and it gives your fans a chance to interact with the message in real time.

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