Coordinating and hosting an event for any type of organization can be a daunting and stressful, but what many organizations don’t plan for is how to accommodate the media. Here are some tips on how to effectively host your event while also managing the media:
- If you plan to invite a high caliber keynote speaker, especially one speaking on a significant issue of public discussion, you can expect that media will want to cover the speech, but how can you prepare?
TIP: To make sure you don’t get any surprises you can send out a press release or media advisory from your organization a week before the event to so you can be prepared and know who is attending.
- What should you do to accommodate reporters?
TIP: Set up a press registration table where you can welcome reporters and issue them a credential. In addition, set aside work space where reporters can be close to the action, preferably near electrical outlets and with access to WiFi. Make sure the credentials are clearly labeled “PRESS” to make sure that attendees at your event know media are present. Also, it is wise to have the emcee alert the audience that media are in attendance.
- What if TV crews inform you that they plan to attend your event?
TIP: Make sure your event space has the room and capabilities for this before confirming their attendance. Ask the vendor at the space if they have a mult box, riser, and lighting. If your vendor does have these things, you can easily coordinate with the media crews that will be attending. You may need to hire an outside vendor to accommodate such requests.
- Should you give media members any literature on your organization?
TIP: YES, ALWAYS, as well as the business card of the communications person or head of the organization for any follow up questions.
- Should you follow up with the members of the media who attended the event?
TIP: Yes, it’s great idea to thank them for attending and track any subsequent news coverage they are planning, and to ask when you can expect their story or package to run and if they’d be able to send a link.
- Can you close an event to the press?
TIP: Yes. If you get media inquiries you can tell them the event is closed to the press, but remember if it is closed that means NO PRESS AT ALL, you can’t just accept some members of the media and not others.