7 Steps to Capture the Media’s Attention
Photo Source: Pixabay
From the perspective of an exhibitor, trade shows tend to be about one thing and one thing only: attendees.
While getting as many prospects and clients to walk through your exhibition as you can is what it’s all about, there is one audience that can have a significant impact on the success of your event: members of the press.
Inviting journalists and media reps to your show not only ensures that you have access to a pool of potential leads but also gives you the opportunity to raise awareness about your brand in an influential way. The question is, how do you reach out in a way that’s effective and gets noticed?
Below, we’ve outlined 7 key steps that exhibitors can take to establish a rapport with the media and get more journalists to attend their shows.
Step #1: Identify Your Target Audience
The first step to reaching out to the press is getting clear about what beat you’re targeting and who you’re trying to reach.
Identifying the main beats (i.e., categories) of your local media outlets will help you target contacts, make connections, and schedule appointments for interviews, demonstrations, etc. The more specific you can get with your beat targeting, the easier it’ll be to identify the journalists at your show who cover these beats.
Local news isn’t always going to cut it. Be as specific as you can in terms of the industry and niche beats of the journalists you’re targeting. Read their recent work and get familiar with what they’re covering. It will make the next couple of steps much easier.
Step #2: Leverage Your Social Presence
Now that you’ve got your target audience in mind, it’s time to leverage your social media presence to connect with them.
Before you send out your pitch about the event, find the platform they’re most active on and follow them. Start engaging with their posts and sharing content you think they would find interesting. Set the stage for your press outreach by starting a conversation now.
Step #3: Send a Personalized Pitch
Journalists receive so many emails every day that it’s easy for yours to get lost in the shuffle.
The best way to stand out from your competitors is to send targeted, personalized email pitches to members of the press. However, you can’t just say, “I saw that you cover X industry” and call it a day — journalists can see right through this.
Instead, use some of the intel you gathered in step one to write a personalized pitch that demonstrates why you think they’d be interested in attending your event. Include any compelling facts or figures about your show that are relevant to their beat.
Whatever you do, don’t send out a generic mass email to a bunch of journalists. It will only get your message deleted and your address marked as spam. A personalized approach is much more effective.
Step #4: Offer a Unique Incentive
Offering a unique incentive is a fantastic way to get journalists interested in attending. Consider what would be most valuable to the reporter you’re pitching in terms of a story. Maybe they’d like to interview the most well-known speaker attending your event? Perhaps they’d like to review a new product you’re launching at the show?
Leverage what it is you have to offer, whether it’s a one-on-one interview, a photo op, or a preview of an exciting announcement. Make sure that the incentive you’re offering is valuable enough to be worth their time and provide something that will lead to good coverage for your brand.
Step #5: Make Their Job Easy
In your pitch, be sure to highlight all the many ways you’ll be accommodating the press during your event. Whether you’re offering media kits in advance, a dedicated press room, or even access to public relations representatives, be sure to mention everything you’ve got.
The more you can make the reporter’s job as easy as possible, the better. The more hassle-free you can make your event, the easier it’ll be for reporters to attend and cover.
Step #6: Make Their Job Fun
In addition to providing them with all the information and access they need to accurately cover the event; brainstorm some ways you can make their job fun. The more they enjoy attending your event, the better the content they’ll produce.
Whether you offer to provide lunch or make special arrangements for them to speak with desired contacts, the better your chances are of getting good press. Helping reporters out in any way you can is a surefire way to get them on your side.
Step #7: Follow Up (But Don’t Overdo It)
Journalists receive so many pitches that they often tend to forget who sent them and what it was all about. It may be necessary to remind them about your event if they don’t respond to your initial outreach but be sure not to annoy them.
Follow up two or three times and then move on. If, at some point, their interest has been piqued, they’ll reach out to you as soon as they’re ready for more information.
Getting media attention for your event can be a big win if you take the time to implement these steps. After all, having a presence in the press is an effective way to expand your audience and improve your show’s visibility.