1. Welcome Them to Your Event.
Make them feel at home.
Someone should be there to greet them.
If you don’t have someone experienced in working with media designate a greeter and fill them in on what needs to be done.
The friendlier you are to them the better, unless they indicate they don’t want to be bothered.
2. Seat or Position Them So They Can Get What They Need.
Don’t let them wander about aimlessly wondering what’s going to happen.
Make sure they are seated or positioned properly to get what they need.
Let them know when the keynote speaker will address the audience and when he/she will be available afterwards for one-on-one interviews or questions.
You may have to set up extra chairs up front or in an aisle area so they can get what they need.
Happy writers and reporters tend to give you better more positive coverage.
3. Feed Them if You Can.
If you are having an event where food and drink are being served, offer the reporters something to eat and/or drink. This is especially important if they have to wait to interview the subject. It’s never a good thing for them to sit around for 30 minutes to an hour and watch everyone eat at the event. Let them refuse the invitation to dine with the crowd. (Many will refuse to eat but some may want a coke or water).
4. Introduce Each Reporter to Your Interviewee.
It is always a good idea to introduce the reporter and his/her affiliation to the person being interviewed. If you can designate a liaison for this job it will be helpful. The media greeter can double in this capacity. This serves two purposes, number one…it lets the subject know who he is being interviewed by such as a local CBS affiliate, CNN or network TV, local daily newspaper or national business publication so he can position his answers to the questions accordingly. He/she might want to throw in some local color into the interview if they know they are being interviewed by a local station or may wish to give a broader perspective if they are being interviewed by national media.
Number two…it helps to create some type of rapport between the reporter and the subject and makes for a more favorable interview.
5. Ask Each Reporter if They Need Anything Else to Complete Their Story.
The reporter may ask for a bio or head shot of the subject. They may want to visit his or her’s web site and need a web address. Be prepared for each circumstance. Find out when the reporter’s deadline is coming up and get their phone number and/or email address. Then make sure they get the information they need well in advance of their deadline.
6. Thank Them for Coming to Your Event.
The reporter/editor/producer selected your event to cover when they could have covered other things. It is always appropriate to thank them for coming. Remember a happy reporter may tend to give you a little bit better of a story.