Conducting press conferences in the industrial market
After studying this chapter, the student must:
• The essence of the concept of "press conference";
• the main tasks of the press conference;
• the structure of the press conference;
• the main stages of organizing a press conference;
be able to
• formulate the tasks of the press conference for the company on the B2B market;
• Develop a package of basic documents necessary for holding a press conference;
• apply in practice the basic rules for holding press conferences when organizing business events of the company;
• the basic rules for holding press conferences;
• Communication skills with media representatives at a press conference.
Press conference: essence, tasks and stages of its organization
Special attention is paid to producing various business events that contribute to the formation of the company's reputation, help to maintain its positive image. Such events include press conferences. Usually, a press conference is a meeting of officials (leaders, politicians, government officials, public relations specialists, businessmen, etc.) with the press , television, radio in order to inform the public on current issues.
Press conferences are advisable in those cases when it is necessary:
• Inform the public about any important, extraordinary event in the life of the company;
• Demonstrate the achievements of the firm; to present new concepts, projects and development programs;
• highlight the position of the firm and its leadership on contentious issues, conflict situations that attracted public attention;
• Establish personal contacts of the company's management and services with representatives of the media.
Press conferences are usually initiated by government bodies, organizations, "important persons", but they can also be conducted on the initiative of journalists themselves, who are interested in professional commentaries of certain events. The main purpose of the press conference is to present the company's point of view on a certain socially significant problem in the context of strategic communication policy, as well as to support image and advertising goals. So, the press conference allows the organization:
• win the trust of customers;
• create a long-term relationship with the media;
• increase the prestige and positive reputation of the company;
• resolve misunderstandings;
• take emergency measures against unfavorable publications;
• expand the range of consumers.
In practice, there are two types of press conferences: operational and regular (Figure 16.1).
Fig. 16.1. Press conferences
Operational conducted in an emergency, most often - at the site of the event. Regular - are held in pre-established and announced terms in specially adapted premises.
It's important to remember!
The press conference is one of the most effective tools for representatives of the company to work with the media, but not the only one.
Quite often companies resort to briefings, which are a brief press conference devoted to just one issue.
From the press conference, the briefing is distinguished by the lack of a presentation part, i.e. almost immediately there are answers to the questions of journalists. In addition, the briefing is of a closed nature, only certain media representatives are invited to it.
Typically, the structure of a press conference consists of the following elements:
• Introductory part (duration - 3-4 minutes);
• an explanation of the reasons for the conduct;
• The program;
• presentation of speakers;
• information about materials submitted to the press (press kit).
Speeches (speakers should be no more than two, with a maximum duration of the report or 10 minutes for each speaker).
The process of planning and holding a press conference can be divided into five main stages.
Stage 1. Planning a press conference. At this stage, questions are being asked about the necessary resources (personnel, information, financial, etc.) for a press conference. Time is determined, an information motive is created, which is of interest to the public and the media, and at the same time is consistent with the overall strategy of the company. The best days for holding traditionally are Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, as the issues of large prints fall on the second half of the week. The optimal time for holding a press conference is from 11:00 to 16:00, as journalists should be in time to prepare material for the event in the current issue/issue. However, before setting a specific day, you need to make sure that this day is not scheduled for a more significant event in scale than the organizing company.
Stage 2. Preparation of the press conference. At this stage, the venue is searched and the hall is booked, a buffet table is organized (if it is necessary at all). It is desirable that the venue of the event be located in a convenient place from the point of view of accessibility for the media representatives (the opportunity to get there by public transport). The size of the room should correspond to the number of planned invited media representatives or slightly less - let it be better to be cramped than empty. It is necessary to have audio and video equipment (microphones for participants and journalists, plasma for demonstration of video materials, etc.).
The scenario of the event is developed, the list of mass media is formed. A list of handouts, press releases, media-whales is made. Especially note that the structure of the press release includes:
• The address; headline (does not have to reflect the main idea of the press release, its main task is to attract attention to the main text);
• are/LEAD (carries the main semantic load and should answer six basic questions: what, where, when, how, due to whom, why it happened or will happen),
• detailing (it contains a more detailed account of the event or fact, the organization, the person or the event mentioned in the release, and the emotions, evaluations, opinions of the author of the text are also excluded);
• information about the organizer;
• coordinates (phone, fax, E-mail, address, etc. of the author of the press release and link to the opportunity to contact him for more information) .
Also at the same stage, a list of newsmakers - people who will speak on behalf of the company at the conference is determined.
Stage 3. Organization of the press conference. Here the main task of the organizer of the press conference is the distribution of the announcement to news agencies. As a rule, they issue specialized editions of announcements of public events and publish there free of charge announcements of events for the press. Such issues were signed by the majority of mass media, and this allows to determine to the editor or journalist the media whether they are interested in the planned press conference. Therefore, the announcement of the press conference should be brief, but informative. You can also send the announcement to a selected list of media and journalists. To do this, you need to identify your target audience and the media that will best deliver the necessary messages. It can be business, social, political or specialized media.
Usually the first invitation (press release) is sent for a week, the second one three days before the scheduled date of the press conference. It is important to make a control call no later than a day, which will allow the organizer, first, to know whether the invitation received is received at all, and secondly, to clarify the final composition of the invited participants.
At the same stage, accreditation of the media, final approval of the program of performances, a rehearsal of the performance is held. If there are any new comments by experts on the topic or questions of journalists (even before the conference), they can be prepared for additional, unpublished handouts.
Stage 4. Holding a conference. Despite the fact that this is one of the shortest stages in the process of planning and holding a press conference, it is one of the most significant and rich in the implementation of the event. It includes transportation and configuration of all necessary equipment, a meeting of guests, conducting a speech, answering questions. In practice, during the event, the most sociable and friendly employees of the company are appointed to the group for the reception and registration of guests and participants of the press conference. This group is located at the table with the inscription: Registration of participants at the entrance. Here arriving participants receive a set of handouts, including souvenirs, and are sent to the conference room. Usually the official part of the press conference lasts 30-40 minutes. The optimal time for the performance of one participant is 5, maximum 10 minutes. After the presentation, the participants answer the questions of the magazine of stories. Then, when all the questions are asked, and if there is such an opportunity and the desire of both parties, interviews and communication of speakers with journalists individually.
Stage 5. Summing up. At this stage, you need to send out information with quotes to journalists who could not come in, review the news and message outputs, make a report and decrypt a speech that will be useful to the company and its leadership, if journalists will ask for quotes on this topic. Particular attention is paid to the publication of the results of the press conference held on the company's official website.
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