Wednesday, October 15

How to Attract Journalists to Your Media Event 

PR Bulldog asked me to comment on tips for 'How to Attract Journalists to Your Media Event.' So I did. See below!

How to Attract Journalists to Your Media Event

1. Free food and drink - don't just serve it, TELL them it's going to be there. Sounds simple, but you'd be amazed at the difference it makes in your media attendance.

2. Plenty of notice - you can't get journalists to come to anything on the spur of the moment; they're attending events tonight that they first heard about 6 weeks ago - and they're on some other deadline for tomorrow! Send invitations (and well-timed reminders) well in advance, right up to the day before the event (with a "Not too late to register - but ALMOST too late" note.)

3. It's not all about your client - frankly, unless your client is a celebrity, you can do very little to attract a journalist or TV crew to your event based on who your client is. So make your event about OTHER people. Interesting people. Heck, dead people! For example, when I was advising a video game expo on how to get coverage, one of the things we did was locate the family of a video game champion who was in the record books, but who never claimed his reward. Turns out the poor fellow fell off a roof and died a few years back, so we designed a posthumous award, and had his sister and aunt and cousins come out to accept the award. All three local news networks and several papers were there with reporters and photographers. It wasn't about my video game expo - it was about the video game champ who finally got his reward - AT my expo!

4. All news is local news. You won't get coverage in markets where there's no local angle. So find a local angle... or MAKE a local angle. Does someone related to the story live in the community? Did they grow up there? Did they get their first job there? "Local boy or girl makes good on the national stage" is a tried and true angle. Want to MAKE a local angle? Great - have your client donate to a local charity or hospital, get on the board of a local company or non-profit, start a local initiative, open a local branch or store, or hire a local (or once-local) executive.

Any questions? Or do you want some more fabulous ideas on sales and marketing?

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