News Conference: Whether and How

  1. They often don't meet the needs of reporters very well. Should you be doing this in some other manner? (TV wants moving pictures, not nervous people all dressed up and saying little).
  2. Make it SHORT. Intro: 90 seconds. Each speaker: 30 to 60 seconds. Wrap-up: 60 seconds. Five primary presenters are plenty.
  3. Make the primary presenters and additional specialists available after the formal presentation.
  4. Food (cookies and coffee) is nice, but not essential. Reporters work hard and are on the run — a little snack is nice.
  5. Have a GREETER who meets the incoming journalists, shake their hands, and gives them a press packet. You might wish to have a REPORTER SIGN-IN CLIPBOARD to hand to arriving journalists. You don't have to ask them what outlet they're with since they're about to write that information down for you. A sign-in sheet for reporters is useful for sourcing names and phone numbers for follow-up and future stories, and also useful for gathering video and print clips of this conference.
  6. Allow 30 minutes or more after the formal presentation for individual interviews off in corners.
  7. Start and finish on time. Do not begin early or late based upon the schedules of individual reporters. Since reporters can't always arrive on time, plan to have interviews available throughout the period.
  8. Give reporters their space while making yourself available to assist them. Journalists want to remain NEUTRAL and not see you as a "friend."

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