Press conferences are held so that reporters and editors can obtain news they would not receive otherwise and ask questions. You'll receive better coverage if the conference is located near major media offices in your city.
Press conferences
   A press conference gives you the opportunity to announce your efforts as an organization. If a press conference has no purpose, it can result in a loss of credibility to the organization. Press conferences are held so that reporters and editors can obtain news they would not receive otherwise and have their questions answered. Here are some tips for organizing your press conference:
  • Try not to schedule a press conference before 10 a.m. or after 2 p.m. Most media people work late hours and are not early risers. If possible, schedule a press conference for a slow news day; don't try to compete with a hurricane or political scandal.
  • If you can schedule the press conference at a program site near the newspaper office or TV station, you will provide a great visual background for your story as well as a convenient location for reporters.
  • Think kids. Most reporters like small children and they provide great "photo ops" (photo opportunities).
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays are generally good days for press conferences. Limit the number of speakers and the total time to 30-45 minutes.
  • Prepare a list of families or other contacts for reporters who may want to personalize the story. Have a sign up sheet for the press so you can follow up as needed.

Organizing a press conference

Red Bullet Be sure your press conference is newsworthy.
Red Bullet Provide a visual backdrop that reinforces the message.
Red Bullet Choose a time and place that is convenient for the press.
Red Bullet Keep your comments brief - a few minutes for each speaker. Try not to have more than three or four presenters; you can always simply introduce other key players and ask them to have written statements available.
Red Bullet Speakers should have written statements accompanied by a brief biographical statement. Be sure to send written statements to members of the press who were invited but could not attend.
Red Bullet Allow plenty of time for questions.
Red Bullet Notify members of the press several days before the press conference and be sure to make follow-up telephone calls.
Red Bullet Contact the Associated Press (AP) and/or United Press International (UPI) to place your event or press conference in their "daybook," a daily listing of news events.

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