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PRESS EVENTS
Planning a Press Event

Format

It is important to stage the press conference in a convenient location or at a site that relates to the press conference itself. For example, a press conference about problems with the state government's actions on wildlife protection may be best suited for the steps of the state capitol. If possible, going to an interesting site - such as a wildlife area to announce a lawsuit to protect the land - may be very helpful for television or radio reporters. On the other hand, if an indoor, or more central location is needed, the state courthouse is a great place to announce a lawsuit as well. Finally, several large cities have press clubs where a large number of reporters are centralized. This is great in places such as Washington, DC where it is in your best interest to make it as easy as possible for reporters to attend.

Set-up (indoor)

A podium (and table if needed) should be placed in front of a solid color, preferably blue curtains. Make sure there are NO distracting paintings, murals, or mirrors. Make arrangements for a press registration table that has a sign-in sheet and where reporters can pick up press kits, or other information. The press registration table should be set up 30-40 minutes prior to the press event, and should ALWAYS be attended by a representative from your organization.

Visuals

Try to have visuals available during the press event. A blow-up of your logo as a visual for the podium is always a good idea. Make sure you place it directly under the microphone, not below the logo of the hotel or place of the event. If you have charts or other visuals in a report, a blow-up can be made at a local photo or copy shop for less than $25. If you have a video clip or an issue ad campaign, make copies to distribute to the broadcast media. Remember, an assignment editor is more likely to make the decision to cover your event if there is a visual story to tell. Don't be afraid to use gimmicks and props. Television stations love them. Remember, "talking heads" make boring television footage.

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