10 Tips to Court the Media-Part One
Photo Source: Pixabay
Journalists aren’t your target buying market, but before you brush them off to talk to that incoming prospect, consider the exposure they can help you reach.
A well-written and cited PR piece from a media outlet has the potential to catapult you and your brand far beyond the immediate impact of the event.
Since we all know first impressions matter in the exhibitor’s world, here are 10 tips to help you to be prepared for media engagement before, during, and after your next event.
Target Your Ideal Media Contacts
If possible, pre-screen the attending press members to target ideal contacts for your brand. If your show hasn’t released that information, ask for it or conduct some savvy searches on the internet to see who has picked it up and might be attending.
Once you have a shortlist of contacts and publications, dig a little deeper to see what their pitching requirements are and how they prefer to be contacted.
Develop a Target-Specific PR Strategy
Now that you know who you’re talking to, create an outline of your objectives, what your messaging will be, and the desired outcomes.
Start early! Plan eight to twelve weeks, at minimum, to schedule any press releases, previews, or big announcements like partnerships or launches.
Craft Intentional Messaging
Keep it brief and to the point. Attracting journalists is different from clients or prospects. Talk about things that will interest their readers
If you’re not planning a big announcement like a new launch or new division, talk up your promotions and giveaways. Be sure to include if you or your team has a speaking engagement at the event.
Get the Word Out
Start the presses! Leverage paid and organic social media traffic about your product and the upcoming event to keep your clients and prospects informed. If they’re not able to attend, they can stay tuned to your channels for updates.
In addition to any releases sent via email or press kit, utilize any one or more of the free and paid press release websites out there.
A few suggestions are:
Schedule Press Interviews
Follow up your messaging with intentional and proactive appointment requests. Start pitching to your targeted list early and schedule meetings weeks in advance.
You can offer a chat over coffee or lunch to take time away from the floor and make sure you have their undivided attention.
Bring along the necessary staff or product designers for press meetings to ensure they’re getting the scoop directly from the source and releasing accurate information.
Press Kits: A Must-Have for Exhibitors
Assembling a press kit should be as standard a practice for exhibitors to provide as it is for editors and journalists to pick them up.
Make it easy for them to learn about and engage with your company. Prepare a pre-loaded USB drive, a branded folder, or a QR code printed on a card that points to a landing page. Include company information, product data, any previous press releases, and contact info.
If you’re planning a big launch that may generate more buzz, send kits out in advance of the event. Let the media know what’s coming and that they can be ready to start the buzz after it’s released.
Establish Achievable Goals and Be Accountable
Set goals for your team that are realistic for the event. If you want to conduct three to five media interviews and connect with ten others, communicate this with your team and make sure you follow up throughout the event. Keep in mind, if a limited number of media outlets are attending, adjust your expectations.
Put Yourself and Your Brand Out There
Not just engaging on the floor! Can you offer someone on your team for a speaking session or panel discussion? Show your brand to be an industry expert!
Create or participate in industry-related awards ceremonies at this event and invite the press to attend.
Prepare Your Team!
Make sure your team is prepared to interact with the media without oversharing. Nothing is worse than putting out wrong or confidential information if your team isn’t ready.
Prepare them with generic elevator pitches and practiced phrases that would give the media something quotable and accurate. You want them to appear interesting and confident but not arrogant or annoying.
Always assume anything that is said could wind up as a headline, for better or worse.
Don’t Ghost the Media
If you have one or many media visitors at your booth, follow up with each and every one. Keep the conversation going over relevant topics and always remember what they’re looking for: what their readers want to see.
Stay tuned for more press tips for your upcoming event in our “Courting the Media” series or reach out to the Exhib-it team for additional resources!