Conventions, conferences, and trade shows offer excellent earned media opportunities for organizations. However, they also pose unique challenges for the media relations and marketing teams looking to connect with journalists and influencers.
The bigger the event, the greater the competition for attention. And at any given moment, a news story can break that unexpectedly changes the tide of the whole week.
PR Newswire’s audience relations team has experienced all of this and more during this month’s political conventions: the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
As the official newswire service for these two major events, we’ve had the wonderful opportunity to engage with journalists and bloggers covering the nominations and to assist in signing them up for convention newsfeeds.
Senior Audience Relations Manager Christine Cube and I have seen a lot and learned a lot over the past two weeks. Here are 7 lessons we picked up along the way for managing media relations in the middle of a major conference.
1. Act fast, and get to the point.
Thanks to technology, our jobs – and the world – are conveniently at our fingertips. Because of this, it’s easy to stay stationary, glued to our screens for hours of virtual outreach. But nothing beats the forming and fostering of relationships in real life.
At an event like a political or industry convention, it’s important to put yourself out there early in the process.
Media are already busy and stretched thin and it’s exponentially more hectic for them at a high-profile event. It’s important to respect their time and their process. Greet them early and be succinct in your approach. Nail down your quick script ahead of time to prevent losing their attention.
At both conventions, the first two mornings of each week were critical hours in our approach. With main events happening in the evenings, journalists were most accessible at this time.
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