Sure, we love telling journalists how great your company is and how great your products are, but sometimes doing something original and atypical can get media attention faster. When we add a visually interesting element for journalists, we create the perfect opportunity for a press conference. That's why we immediately thought of setting up a press conference when transport management system developer Dashdoc announced its Dashtour event. During the DashTour, the Dashdoc team traveled 700 kilometers from the Antwerp office to the Nantes office, without emitting CO2 by walking, cycling and even kayaking.
We organised a press conference at the start of DashTour, around 9 a.m. The participating team members were all wearing the same Dashtour shirt and were dressed in sportswear, providing opportunities for photos or filming while the team was running or cycling. The general director for the Benelux was present, as was the Antwerp operational director (having an Antwerp accent was a bonus when arranging an interview with Radio 2 Antwerp). In addition, one of the team members would participate in the full DashTour.
For the press conference, we mainly invited journalists based in Antwerp, because they are more likely to attend a press conference that is close to home. Afterwards, a press release with photos and quotes from the press conference was sent to a wider range of media. In addition to the radio interview with Radio 2, DashTour was covered in Het Laatste Nieuws, Gazet Van Antwerpen, the Dutch website PZC and English aggregator website Belgium Posts English. A huge boost for the participants of the DashTour, who received media attention for their sporting efforts.
Encouraging journalists to write about an event is one thing, persuading them to leave their desks and get up a little earlier than they'd like is another. That's why it's important to check whether an event is visually interesting enough before inviting journalists. You must provide an exclusive setting or a unique photo or film opportunity. Otherwise, journalists will go home thinking they could have written an article by simply calling one of the key people involved in the story.
In addition, offer time to chat with various spokespersons who are usually not so easy to approach, as this increases the value of attending the event because it gives journalists the opportunity to network and meet key figures within your organisation. Finally, make sure the media event doesn't start too early. 9 hours is fine for most journalists, but 10 hours is better. Also, respect journalists' valuable private time by not scheduling a press conference late at night or too close to the media's usual deadline.