History was made on Thursday the 11th of August, 2022, as SFS Capital, a leading investment management firm, hosted its first-ever official press conference in Lagos, Nigeria. The event which was an interaction between the press and the team at SFS Capital gave members of the press, an opportunity to learn more about the firm and its businesses. It was also an avenue for the firm to officially announce the launch of the SFS Fund Mobile App.
As the Communications Manager for the firm, I had the opportunity to be heavily involved in the planning and execution of the press briefing. As a matter of fact, it is safe to say that, I birthed the idea of a press conference. Thankfully, SFS is a firm that provides its staff with an opportunity to express their ideas and when they buy into the idea, they back you up to succeed in the implementation and execution. That my friend is key to attaining success.YOUR IDEAS ARE ONLY AS SUCCESSFUL AS THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR EXECUTION Click To Tweet
After pulling off what I can confirm to be a successful outing not just by my standards or that of my firm but from the feedback and the social mentions which we have received since the press conference, I thought it will be nice to share some tips with any small business owner or comms manager who is looking to plan and execute a press conference, irrespective of the size.
Here are 7 Tips To Planning and Executing A Successful Press Conference
1. Define the purpose of the press conference:
Having a press conference without a purpose is setting yourself up for disaster. I understand that some people are of the opinion that bad press is better than no press but why do badly when you can do great? It is possible only if you step into it with a purpose. For us, the purpose was to;
– bring the press into SFS by sharing some insights about the firm
– to announce the launch of the SFS Fund Mobile App
This set the tone for most of the interaction we had with the press and was evident in the social mentions that emanated from that day. As a matter of fact, I consider this to be a lot better than a launch event, especially without the first interaction with members of the press.
2. The Media Type:
Today, when you speak of the media, you have the print, radio, television, digital and influencers. Having a mix of all is key in ensuring that you gain ground on every side. This forms the core of your guest list. Since there are a lot of media companies and personalities, you need to decide on the most relevant ones based on your industry, especially for digital platforms and influencers. If you are a beauty blogger, you must look out for digital platforms that have your target audience and consider beauty and lifestyle influencers.
3. The Venue:
Hmmmmm…… with this one, you have got to really do your research. A venue can mar your entire plan and you do not want to take those chances. You need a venue that is reliable, especially with respect to the power supply. Other important things to note are; the capacity of the venue, their policies on decoration, set up, refreshments etc. You should also consider the landmark. Using a venue that is easily accessible is a big plus.
The best time to start your press event is 10 am. This gives members of the press to get to you, interact and network and also leave in good time to their respective locations- whether work or back home. It also gives them time to publish your press release except for the print media who may have to feature you the next day.TIP: FIND A WAY TO TRANSPORT A BULK OF THE PRESS AND YOU CAN CONTROL HOW QUICKLY YOU START Click To Tweet
5. Swag bag:
As a blogger, curating the swag bag wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I know what an impressionable swag bag should look like and contain. Thus, it had me overthinking every single item that I needed to get while keeping it within the available budget.TIP: SAVING MONEY FOR THE COMPANY IS ALWAYS A PLUS BUT ALSO CREATE THOUGHTFUL GIFTS. Click To Tweet
6. Press release:
The content of your press release is essential. You need to ensure that there is a clear direction with your messaging and that the key points are covered in there. A quote or 2 from the relevant people in the organization must be featured. Still, on the press release, I hear that the industry standard is to have a picture with not more than 4 people. So, ensure that your team has that shot for the press. Be intentional about every other image that you capture on that day.
The real work begins after the press briefing. This is a relationship that needs to be nurtured and mutually beneficial. Be intentional about it and ensure that you do not attempt to play smart with the press. They are humans who can read between the lines. If you come across as fake and phoney or self-serving in your relationship with them, they can tell.
With that said, if you can afford a PR agency with the right expertise and network, you are on your way to executing the most successful press briefing.