Few media events are as misunderstood and abused as the press conference. News-makers love the concept of calling a press conference because it makes them feel important. Schedule a press conference, they reason, and reporters will trip all over each other to get the best seats in the house.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. The media actually despise press conferences for several reasons:
- Reporters are all fed the identical story. Unless a reporter can steal a few minutes alone with the newsmaker, the story in tomorrow’s paper will be very similar to the one in the other newspaper across town, on the 11 o’clock news and on all the local radio stations.
- Press conferences (also known as news conferences) are often mistakenly called to make announcements that aren’t very newsworthy. A reporter might have to fight rush-hour traffic, then search in desperation for a parking space, then learn the news conference he almost broke his neck to get to on time was for a minor announcement that could have been handled a lot easier and quicker with a press release.
- Press conferences are usually controlled by the organization that calls them. In other words, it’s their show, so they get to make up the rules. Reporters can’t yell out questions whenever they feel like it.
- Often the news conference is limited to a specific time period, like 15 minutes. So if time runs out before all the questions are answered, tough.
- A press conference seldom results in interesting visuals for television. Usually, there’s little more to photograph than a bunch of talking heads.
Reporters know that the press conference is nothing more than spin. A company will do everything necessary to put its best foot forward, even if it means refusing to answer certain questions.
Want to know more?
Download Special Report #27 “The Press Conference: When to Hold It and How to Do It Right” for only $10.00.
In this report, you will learn:
- The best opportunities for press conferences
- When NOT to call them
- How to prepare your key messages
- Props that can help you
- Things the media will expect at your press conference
- It’s your show, so make your own rules
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