Is it just me, or does it seem like we’re being bombarded even more than usual with negative press about individuals and organizations? Lance Armstrong’s personal brand is ruined, both by his own actions and by the unrelenting pounding in the media. How much do we really care whether Beyonce lip-synced at the inauguration or if Manti Te’o was catfished?
On the other hand, positive press can create heroes or inspire society to take action to improve the planet. A great example is the televised all-star rock concert which was held to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy. And we all marvel at Captain Sully Sullenberger’s amazing airplane landing on the Hudson River.
Local media coverage of your meetings and events may not change the world, but it can produce very real benefits for your organization, such as:
- creating awareness, enthusiasm and public support for your organization and its endeavors
- increasing good will toward your attendees during their visit
- bringing attention to a cause or social responsibility program
- strengthening your organization’s brand
- bolstering pride within your organization
- reducing your marketing expenses
- increasing the number of volunteers and/or ticket sales
Care and feeding (literally!) of the press
Courting the media takes a plan. To ensure you get the media attention you want, treat the invited media as you would any special guest. Always offer a complimentary event pass, including the social functions, to media reps. Take the extra step of providing a designated media room with Wi-Fi access, computers and printers, charging stations for mobile phones, and semi-private areas for phone calls or one-on-one meetings. The effort you put into cultivating your relationship with the media will pay off!
First stop: the CVB
You know that CVBs are the best first point of contact to help planners find the right fit for any size meeting, but did you know that reaching out to the CVB should also be the first step in acquiring media coverage for your event? All CVBs are happy to provide a list of local media contacts for your use, help you write press releases that will capture the media’s attention and distribute press releases on your behalf – at no charge. There may be a fee for more time-consuming involvement with newspaper, radio and TV contacts, such as arranging interviews, personally calling reporters with event reminders or including CVB marketing departments in your PR efforts, so be sure to ask what is complimentary and what is not.
The existence of a media outreach program can even be an influencer in site selection. Ask your CVB professional if they have a strategy and plan of action for engaging the media on behalf of their clients. CVBs are happy and eager to help; positive press about your meeting or event validates the CVB’s efforts and may even inspire your organization to return to the destination in the future. We all like to go where we feel welcome.
To contact CVBs and learn about the media assistance they offer, go to Destination Marketing Association International’s empowerMINT.com, the virtual national sales office for over 130 destinations.
And, to learn more about your event can benefit from media exposure and how to get the media’s attention, JOIN US for our free 30-minute webinar on Thursday, February 21st.