Planning your news conference from beginning to end.

When your organization is launching a new product, event or initiative, a news conference may be the best way to share that news.

A news conference, sometimes referred to as a press conference, is an event in which newsmakers invite the media to hear them speak on a specific topic or announcement and then allows time for the journalists to ask questions.

A successful news conference will create awareness and hopefully generate news stories about your announcement. This requires thoughtful planning and doesn’t end when the reporters leave the event. Read on to learn about the important pre, day of and post event planning musts for your next news conference:

Getting Started:

  • Define the message. What is the goal of your announcement and what message are you trying to get out in the community?
  • Select the appropriate date and time. Ensure that there are no other major newsworthy events that may involve any of your target audience. Next, select a time that is convenient for media to attend. The 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. timeframe is ideal.
  • Select a location that “makes sense.” Choose a central location that is convenient for media and relates to your announcement.

Develop Your Pre-Event Checklist:

  • Develop your invite list and include any speakers, key stakeholders pertaining to your announcement and elected officials.
  • Identify if you will need supplemental marketing collateral or other materials.
  • Select appropriate speakers and develop talking points. Ensure in your talking points that you have each speaker touching on different topics.
  • Prepare a Powerpoint or Prezi presentation if appropriate.
  • Create an agenda that includes the order of events (and speakers) and a time stamp for each.
  • Draft and issue a media alert and press release for the event.
  • Determine logistics needs such as a photographer, tables and chairs, podium refreshments, etc.

Ensure a Smooth Day of Event:

  • Follow up with media to ensure attendance. Let your key stakeholders know who will be attending from the media.
  • Arrange for and pre-test the sound system and any other electrical components.
  • Greet your attendees and make them feel welcome.
  • Take pictures and share on all social media outlets.
  • Help coordinate interviews with attending media and key stakeholders.

It’s Over, Now What:

  • Upon the conclusion of the event, be prepared to also issue the press release electronically to media who was unable to attend.
  • Identify and secure bylined articles or op-ed opportunities to share your news.
  • Identify unique story angles around the announcement. Pitch those stories to the local media (regional and national if applicable).

Planning for your big announcement requires a lot of thought and work, but with a little pre planning and preparation, your event is sure to be a success. Need help? Connect with Chartwell to take the lead in planning your next big announcement.