Media coverage is a key success factor for many corporate and association events. Yet, many event planners struggle with attracting media attention and getting enough press coverage.
Here are 10 tips from the film industry for how to improve media coverage of your events.
- Obtain media sponsors. Media sponsorships ensure wall-to-wall coverage of events from launch to closing gala.
Global News is sponsoring both Reelworld Film Festival and Toronto Black Film Festival. CBC is also sponsoring Reelworld World. ICI Radio-Canada, Q987, and Now Magazine are the other media sponsors for Toronto Black Film Festival.
Anthony Farnell, Chief Meteorologist, Global News, Toronto, hosted the opening night. Rosey Edeh, anchor of the News at Noon and host of The Morning Show at Global News will be hosting one of the industry panels.
- Hire a publicist or set up a dedicated publicity team.
Toronto Black Film Festival and Reelworld Film Festival have both hired freelance publicists with existing networks of relevant industry contacts including email addresses and phone numbers at numerous media outlet. The publicist for Reelworld has experience with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and publicizing films for individual filmmakers at Hot Docs and Sundance Festivals.
- Send press releases to traditional and non-traditional media.
Definitely include TV, radio, and major news newspapers but don't neglect blogs, community newspapers, and ethnic newspapers.
- Instead of just doing a big press conference, host an evening launch reception and mini-junkets.
This year, Reelworld has reached out to alumni from the past 15 years and invited press and current and former filmmakers to a special reception that is taking place next week).
Last night, they held a smaller, special mini press junket for key journalists and bloggers. The unique speed dating format, designed by Tonya Lee Williams, the festival's founder (who you'll recognize as Dr. Olivia Barber Winters from The Young and the Restless) gave media a chance to spend quality one-on-one time with filmmakers and actors.
There were separate step and repeat backdrops for photos and video interviews.
Conferences and trade shows can easily replicate this format to give media time with speakers, breakout session facilitators, exhibitors, and sponsors.
- Offer to go to the media outlets for private interviews.
Reelworld has found this strategy to be effective in giving busy journalists access to their information.
- Invite media outlets to send representatives to opening and closing receptions, galas, and VIP events.
- Ensure that clear and accurate communication tools are available. Brochures, press releases, bios, trailers, and photos must be ready and accurate.
- Be Active on Social Media.
Creating a hashtag is just the first step. Be sure to provide all sponsors and venues with information so that they can also share the event on their channels. For sure Facebook and Twitter are important but Youtube is also essential so that writers and bloggers can easily pull video footage into posts and articles. Flickr and Instagram are also important to help media representatives find photos quickly and easily. IMEX does an excellent job of this.
- Place a media tab on your website with easy access to pages with agendas, speaker bios, photos, videos, and press releases.
Make it easy for bloggers and members of the press corps to apply for press credentials and sign up to receive press releases. Many tourist board and CVB wesbistes do this effectively. Take a look at the IMEX Frankfurt website for an example of how this can be integrated into web design..
- Don't neglect SEO.
SEO is still one of the most popular tools for attracting visitors including bloggers and media representatives to your event website.
The bottom line is to make it easy for media representatives to access information about your events. Send invitations well in advance and ensure that they have timely and accurate information.
For more tips, also read 5 Ideas for Media-Friendly Events, Event Planning Inspiration from Toronto's ReelWorld Film Festival, If You Struggle With How to Write a Press Release, Then Read This, and 12 Tips for Setting Up Magnificent Media Centers.
Photo Credits: Executive Oasis International