Whether you're organizing your city’s first digital nomad meetup or the largest marriage conference in the region, there’s no reason for the sparks of your event to die when your registrants drive away.
If you create a splash with local media, people will talk about your event for days to come.
As it turns out, you don’t have to feature Super Bowl-famous celebrities to attract the press; you just need to be strategic. Here are the steps to getting the press to cover your event.
Step 1: Build a Media List
Keeping an updated list of various contacts will help the rest of your process run more smoothly.
For those starting from scratch, begin by gathering the contact info of local newspaper reporters, TV affiliates, and radio stations. Reach out to a few notable bloggers and online influencers, as well. Start establishing these connections well before your event.
Step 2: Write a Compelling Press Release
A press release is a short but detailed message that alerts the press about your event. Your goal is to be clear but compelling enough for the media to want to show up.
Here’s a list of what to include:
- Key logistics of when and where the event takes place.
- The heart of your event’s purpose.
- The brands sponsoring the event.
- Unique aspects of your event.
- Quality photos.
- A final summary with a call to action.
- Your contact information.
Pro tip: Once you have a solid draft, save the content template and repurpose it later.
Step 3: Send Personalized Requests
Generic releases tend to drown in piles and inboxes. Do some preliminary research to make your request stand out. The press is already asking why they should attend, so take it a step further and do their homework for them.
If you notice a journalist regularly tweets about hacks for remote and travel, for example, mention that detail when you reach out about the digital nomad meetup.
A personalized request with specific details increases your chances of seeing the media in attendance.
Pro tip: Keep the scheduling easy by sending a calendar link.
Step 4: Execute a “Media-Friendly” Event
A “media-friendly” event seems like it could go without saying, but we need to say it. The key characteristics that make for a media-friendly event are easy to overlook when you’re in the weeds of event planning.
A clear calendar: Check the local calendar to ensure your event doesn’t compete with other big events such as a city-wide parade or a championship sports game.
Appealing visuals: A culinary convention with elegant decor will naturally garner more positive attention than one with tacky signage and plastic cupcake containers littering the interview area. Make sure the venue is clean and in good condition for photos.
Media-friendly people: For events involving interviews or panels, select people who love being on camera and light up when they articulate their experiences.
Dedicated space: Whether it’s for note-taking, filming, or conducting interviews, provide space for the media to do their thing.
Step 5: Followup After the Event
Sometimes, despite your best efforts and most thoughtful preparations, the media just doesn’t show. Don’t lose heart. There is still an opportunity.
The moment your event wraps up, send any relevant materials, including photos, videos, quotes, and event summaries, to your media contacts. When you post about the event, tag journalists and photographers on social media. Whether the media covers your event in real-time or in delay, attention from the press will undeniably benefit your event.
Here to help you host your most successful event ever!
— The RegFox Team