Problem is, you’re only one that’s excited. Your publicist, in fact, is reluctant, because she thinks a press conference sounds, well, so old-fashioned.
That’s what happened this week to a publicist who’s one my readers. Her client, whose organization got high ratings, told her to arrange a press conference to announce the good news. She turned to me for advice.
No one will come
Here’s my response:
“I suggest you NOT hold a press conference because I can virtually guarantee you that if you do, nobody from the media will show up, and you will look bad in the client’s eyes. (“How come you couldn’t get anyone from the media to show up?”)
“If somebody from the media DOES show up, they will be angry when they find out your client wasted their time and that they could have gotten the same information in a press release, especially if they battled rush-hour traffic to get there on time. And they could blackball you.
“Clients have huge egos, especially when they have good news to share. You must explain to the client why useless press conferences about topics like this can damage their reputation with the media forever.”
Better ways to spread the word
I suggested that she convince her client to:
—Write a press release and distribute it through PR Web. Dan Janal has a fabulous deal where where the client’s press release is guaranteed to make it onto more than 50 big websites like Forbes, Reuters, etc. I wrote about this in my publicity tips newsletter a few weeks ago. The client will be much happier about achieving this kind of exposure vs. spending all the time coordinating a press conference and then delivering the news in an empty room.
—Create a video (two and a half minutes) explaining what the company did to achieve the high rating. Feature clients talking about what they like about the service they received. Upload it to YouTube and other video-sharing sites. It will pull traffic to their website.
—Tweet about this and put this on their Facebook Fan Page.
—Take photos that illustrate why the company got the high rating and upload them to Flickr.
—Also do a special mailing to their email list sharing the good news.
—There are many creative alternatives to boring press conferences, like events that are open to the public, or even publicity stunts that are done well. A new florist association, for example, delivered 50,000 roses and carnations to new moms in area hospitals, generating fabulous media attention and word-of-mouth publicity.
The next time you or your PR is tempted to call a press conference, consider the disadvantages. Then think of a better way to spread the good news.