The title of this blog seems redundant. Common sense says that if it is a press conference, then it should be media friendly…right? The whole point of having a press conference is to alert the media to something new, but as former journalists, we have seen a lot of press conferences that were more snooze conferences than anything else.
Avoid throwing a snooze conference with these tips:
Consider the setting: Jazz up the press conference by thinking visually. Find a picturesque place like outside or against a backdrop that reinforces the main topic. Also, a podium set up in front of window with a view is not what we mean by a “picturesque” place. A lot of public relations people think this set up provides a great backdrop, but in reality it creates more work for the cameraman. If the background is too bright, as is the case with a window in the background, the person behind the podium will look like a silhouette.
Include real people: Having a public official or businessperson lead the press conference may seem like a good idea, but the media will not want to cover a “talking head.” Make sure you have real people in attendance, and not just the news media and the newsmaker. For reporters, no story is worse than one without any ordinary people in it.
Bring props: The best press conferences don’t feel like press conferences at all. They are different from the norm (talking figure head making a boring announcement behind a podium), and props can help achieve this feel. Provide some visuals to help tell your story, and you’ll reduce the number of zoned out reporters in the audience.