Public Relations – How to Organize a News Conference

A news conference can be a great way of getting media exposure for your business or that of your client. Organizing one isn’t unreasonably complex, but it does take planning. Here are nine steps you need to take to run a successful news conference. homedepottoday

1. Set the Time and Place

There will be many factors to be taken into account when choosing the location and date for your news conference but remember that you are in charge. You can usually choose when and where to have it. If the event is being held to make an important policy announcement you need to be fully prepared (see below). If you are holding the news conference to respond to some criticism or some emergency, it is even more essential that you are not panicked into making hasty decisions. solcatmusic

2. Prepare a ‘Press Pack’

The pack of information given to those attending should include a printed copy of any statement by your client or his employees. Include a copy of any press release prepared for the event, gunsources any background information, statistics and relevant photographs. But do not include any junk.

3. Choose a Firm Chairperson

The chairperson of the news conference is one of the most important people. He or she will have to be fully briefed on the subject of the conference, needs to be ready to answer questions (which may sometimes be hostile), needs to be prepared to say ‘No’ when necessary, and must bring the event to a tidy conclusion.

4. Anticipate Problems

Do not assume you can always control the questions reporters will ask. Prepare a list of the possible questions and write down the answers as part of the chairperson’s briefing. You must be honest with yourself and anticipate all the controversial issues. Be ready with positive answers but also be ready to give a strong defence in cases of controversy.

5. Invite the News Media

This piece of advice is not as silly as it seems. Make sure journalists can find you and give them detailed information on date, time, location and include a map. Give them plenty of time to enter your invitation in their busy diaries. You will probably be competing with other organizations who are holding press events on the same day. Be careful also to check the credentials of those who attend, and admit only those who can prove they were invited.

6. Make an Opening Statement

The chairperson of the news conference is in the best position to set the agenda, and the opening statement should be short, clear and to the point. Explain why you have invited reporters and describe the supporting documents you have produced for the press pack. When the statement is completed, invite questions.

7. Be Assertive with Journalists

Ask each person to identify themselves before they ask their question. If you do not understand the question ask them to repeat it. Always offer an answer to the question, petges even if you have to say, ‘I don’t know.’ Be positive, and if some details are not readily available make sure they are passed on later to the journalist who asked for them. Make sure reporters address all questions to the chairperson. It is the chairperson’s job to re-direct questions to the appropriate person if he/she can answer them better.

8. Be Prepared for Interviews

Radio and television reporters always prefer one-to-one interviews. It is often a good idea to have one well-briefed spokesperson for interviews. It is best to delay these arrangements until after the news conference. By that time the spokesperson will be familiar with the questions (and answers). Use a small tape recorder to keep your own record of the news conference and interviews. It is also a good idea for the spokesperson to be trained in radio and television interview techniques.

9. Close the Conference when Appropriate

Never allow a news conference to drift. If you feel that the reporters have got answers to all the most important questions, opencms-forum the chairperson should politely close the conference and thank everyone for attending.


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