Here are some tips for you, as a small business owner, to organise an effective press conference.
Choose the timing carefully
Organise your press conference at a time that is suitable for reporters to attend. Too early in the morning, reporters are usually busy in catching up with current events and organising their day. Too late in the evening, they would be in a rush to meet their work deadlines. Mid-morning to noon is, hence, a good time to organise your conference. This would give the reporter enough time to write and file your story for the next day.
Inform the reporters well in advance about your press conference, and do not leave it till the last minute. It is a good idea to invite them first over the telephone, then drop in an e-mail, and then confirm their presence at the event a day or so prior to it.
Select the venue wisely
Give careful thought to venue of the press conference. Select a venue that is near the offices of most major media players, so that the reporters do not have to commute a very long distance to reach the event. If you are keen on an outdoor venue for the press conference, do consider the possibility of sudden changes in weather.
Also, ensure that the venue has good lighting and visuals so that photographs/shootings of the conference turn out good.
Keep it crisp and clear
Do not make the press conference a lengthy and boring event. Get to the point soon, and discuss the matter at hand clearly and concisely.
It is a good idea to practice for the press conference well in advance. Make a list of the anticipated questions from the media, and rehearse your answers to them.
Don’t expose too much
Do not expose too much to the reporters before the press conference. Tease them with just the sufficient amount of information, and hint at the nature of information that will be discussed at the conference. Leave the breaking of the news for the press conference.
Be updated with the current goings-on in the world around you at all times. In case of a big newsworthy event just before your press conference, there is a possibility of the event hogging all the limelight and you getting overshadowed. Consider the possibility of rescheduling your press conference in such a situation.
Ensure that each reporter present at the conference has a copy of the documents supporting the discussion at the event.
Social media updates can be of great value in spreading word about the happenings at your press conference. It is advisable to have someone update your Twitter, Facebook and other social media pages with updates about the press conference.
Also, it is a good idea to put up the updates of the event on your website and/or blog, for the benefit of the people who missed it.
Ensure that you visit the conference venue a few hours before the event. Check whether everything is in order – the lighting, seating, supporting documents, the podium, and so on. Have back-up plans ready, in case any of these aspects malfunctions during the conference.