By Marissa Ellenby
Securing media coverage at your annual meeting is an opportunity to shine the spotlight on your organization and inform key audiences about the value it brings to the industry. To generate that media coverage, you need a well-run newsroom. But perfecting a productive and effective newsroom doesn’t happen overnight. Knowing what resources to offer and anticipating media needs is a skill.
Here are some tips to run a successful onsite newsroom at your next annual meeting:
- Create a consistent flow of content: Annual meetings typically have general or keynote addresses. While these are good sources of news, don’t overlook the specific, topic-based and plenary sessions. You’ll benefit from having your communications team take a deep dive to uncover hidden news gems in oral and poster presentations. To promote such presentations, identify and select those topics and issues that have relevance to your members, align with your strategic communications goals, and position your organization as a thought leader in the industry. These presentations can then be turned into content marketing pieces such as news releases, bylined articles and expert alerts to generate media exposure for your organization. Not only can this content be used to generate media coverage, but it can also be repurposed for online content to share on your organization’s social media channels. The conversations both on and offline about the news coming from your meeting should be constant during the duration of the meeting, positive and showcase your organization’s expertise.
- Develop an abundance of resources: While managing an onsite newsroom, reporters are your guests and you want to be sure they have what they need to do their jobs. Granting access to general and plenary sessions, abstracts and will help ensure stories are complete and tell the larger picture about your meeting or conference. Although your newsroom will be bustling with activity during the annual meeting, preparation of materials and resources for media should begin several months in advance of the meeting.
- Provide an accommodating work space: It might seem obvious, but providing the proper tools and equipment in your newsroom are often forgotten. This means your newsroom should be equipped with trustworthy internet access, plenty of places to plug-in, quiet areas for interview, a printer, and of course, helpful members of your communications team to answer questions and direct anyone who stops in looking for directions.
Whether working in your newsroom, attending a plenary session, interviewing one of your spokespersons or wandering through the exhibit hall, all reporters (and attendees!) should feel “at home” while they are likely far away from their own. The strategic counselors, content marketers and media relations specialists at Public Communications Inc. are available to discuss your annual meeting plans with you. Feel free to contact us should you have any communications needs.
Marissa Ellenby is an Account Supervisor at Public Communications Inc., a national communications and marketing agency with purpose – to make a positive difference for our clients and community. We are proud to work with a diverse group of clients ranging from international corporations to neighborhood nonprofits. Need communications assistance? Let’s talk. Email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org