10 Add on Bonus Tips to Court the Media
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Trade shows and events can provide the perfect environment to promote your brand and broadcast your message — and utilizing the power of the press can help you achieve that beyond measure.
By working with established trade journalists, you can increase your chances of getting the media attention that you need to be successful. But this takes time, energy, and organization.
In the final part of our three-part series, we’ll give you our final 10 best tips on how to effectively get the media’s attention.
#1: Have a Clear Goal
Having a clear plan for what you hope to achieve at the show, such as increasing brand awareness and visibility, is a wonderful place to start. Without one, you won’t know what the right action steps are to take, and you’ll be less likely to achieve your goals as a result.
Here are a couple of ideas for goals to consider:
- Generate interest and attention for a new product
- Increase your social media following and traffic to your site
- Improve your brand awareness and overall message
#2: Be an Active Participant
Journalists are often short on time, so treating them as if they’re doing you a favor will go a long way. Be sure to greet them when they arrive, introduce them to your key speakers and VIP guests, and show them where everything is located.
If you’re hosting a press event, make sure the invitation is clear about what exactly will be happening at your booth (e.g., “We’ll provide lunch for the media.”). By simply telling the press reps how their day will unfold, you can help them have a smoother experience and feel appreciated.
#3: Designate a Media Assistant on Your Staff
Designate one person responsible for collaborating with members of the press. If they have questions or need materials, someone will always be at the ready. This person should be comfortable having casual conversations with journalists and will ideally be able to respond quickly to press inquiries. Be sure to brief them with whatever information they need to give accurate information and on-brand answers.
Depending on how many members of the press you’ll have in attendance, you may need one or two members of your staff designated to this role.
#4: Give Reporters the Story Behind Your Brand
Journalists want to tell a story and providing them with one is a terrific way to allow them to do that on your behalf. When giving interviews or hosting discussions, emphasize the human element of your brand. Let your customers share their stories, ideas, and perspectives on how your product or service has changed their lives.
Keep in mind that reporters are always looking for a relevant story, which is why they participate in trade shows to begin with. Providing them with one will make their experience — and your brand’s presence at the show — a lot more positive.
#5: Compile a Press Kit
Journalists want easily digestible information, so compile all necessary materials — background on your company, images, credentials, logos — in one place to share right away. Include what you’d like them to know about your brand, exclusive offers or discounts, and contact information.
Having this material readily available will make it simple for journalists to familiarize themselves with your story in advance of the show.
#6: Offer Something of Value
Whether it’s an exclusive, sit-down interview with a well-known speaker or an invite-only, behind-the-scenes look at a particularly interesting aspect of the event, offering something of value will help you stand out from the crowd.
Journalists are human too, and many want to provide their readers with content that is unique and not readily available elsewhere. If you can do this, it will make an impression on them and give them a good reason to come back for more.
#7: Utilize the Power of Social Media
Journalists can get to know your brand and your message in the weeks leading up to the event by engaging with your social media. Don’t be afraid to follow journalists you’ve invited and share posts that will get them excited about attending your event.
#8: Avoid Spamming
Spamming is a big no-no, and it’s a quick way to get on a reporter’s bad side. You don’t need to send a million follow-up emails to be effective. Make sure your initial outreach to journalists is personalized, and if they decline your invitation, don’t hound them.
#9: Be Available to Answer Questions
It’s likely that some of the journalists you’ve invited will want to follow up with you after receiving your initial invitation. Be sure to include contact information and encourage them to get in touch if they need more information before the show. If a journalist has an urgent question about something, make sure it gets answered quickly and correctly.
#10: Prepare to Be Turned Down (A Lot)
While you should try to secure as many press passes as possible, don’t be surprised if your invitations are declined. Journalists have busy schedules just like everyone else, and the best thing you can do is respect their time while continuing to provide them with the information they need.
As with all marketing efforts, communication is key. Keep an open dialogue throughout the process to ensure that your brand gets the kind of coverage you’re hoping for at the show. If you follow these tips and keep this information in mind, you’ll be able to maximize your opportunities and really make a splash with the press at your next show.