With social media and live streaming becoming the norm, it may seem like the traditional press conference is no longer needed, but that is far from the case. When it comes to crafting a specific message to benefit your credibility, image and brand, there’s nothing like a press conference to give you more control. The question is, when is it appropriate to hold a press conference, what are the risks and potential benefits and, ultimately, will they come?
What is a press conference? It is basically an organized meeting for the media. It gives brands or individuals the opportunity to share information, make an announcement or answer questions, all in one shot.
When should you hold a press conference? A press conference is a great way to bring attention to special news that might be of interest to a broad swath of local, regional or national media, including print, broadcast and online outlets. Examples include a new headquarters or plant that creates new local jobs; a lawsuit with a compelling backstory, company, organization, property, government official or agency; an investigation, indictment, land use or business dispute; allegations of criminal activities; responses to controversies involving your company, key executives or products, safety issues, employees or unions; and major incidents with injuries or fatalities or crime.
Hence, a press conference may be appropriate when there is very good news or for damage control. If you’re facing bad press, a news conference can help separate fact from fiction to ensure your message gets out there in a consistent way. It helps combat gossip and alternative facts that are prevalent in an age of social media.