Day #87: Rethink Your Next Press Conference

As press conferences have been reinvented due to external influences, we came together with one goal – rethinking press conferences! Just taking an old-style concept into the virtual world can hardly be enough.

Day #87: Rethink Your Next Press Conference

We have taught the following facts about holding press conferences in the sports world for years now.

1. Less attendees doesn't mean less interest.
2. Don't do press conferences because they are fancy.

In saying that I think that not every topic demands a press conference. Be careful with this tool as it requests a lot of effort from media outlets. And if it's reasonable to hold a press conference, don't be sad if the number of attendees remains under your expectations. By distributing the content of your press conference, you can reach much more addressees than you see in the room.

The Switch of Worlds

During the coronavirus lockdowns we all have learned to be comfortable with the new technology. In our daily lives video calls became natural. Everybody is using Zoom and co. to stay connected to family and friends, working, or studying for school, and of course to be entertained.

This switch obviously affects journalists as well. Simply by switching press conferences from in-person meetings into the virtual sphere due to restrictions, new opportunities arise for a lot of sports organizations.

Like one of our clients confirmed with happiness that for the first time “far away media” has joined their regular media talks, just because it became possible without traveling hundreds of miles for one question.

We went further

As press conferences have been reinvented due to external influences, we came together with one goal: rethinking press conferences!

We did an experiment – you can also call it a worldwide first run – with one of our clients. Time has come for an end-of-season press conference with the head coach and general manager of an Austrian based ice hockey organization.

We have simply eliminated all potential reasons for not liking our press conference.

Beside talking to colleagues and enjoying free food, press conferences are not really the favourite thing of journalists. Attending a press conference is time consuming and the lack of exclusivity keeps the enthusiasm small. On the other side press conferences are efficient for sports organizations as there is all media at once.

And here is how we did it:

Timeslots for interested Media Outlets

It's like the Q&A session at the end of every press conference, but better. With the confirmation of the attendance request every journalist got his dedicated timeslot with the dial-in information.

Limit Available Time by Collected Data

It's like the "one-question-rule" or a "twenty-minutes-each", but better. As we managed all media relations during the whole season with one software tool (the Pressroom Solution by cd mediateam) for distributing media content and coordinating media requests, we knew about their needs. Maybe even better then they know it themselves. 😉 Data-based analytics defined the time for each media outlet. A daily newspaper that reported about all games got more minutes as for instance the national paper who covers the team once a month.

Provide the Basics in Content Pool

It's like live streaming the press conference, but better. To get the most outcome and coverage of the message as well as eliminate repeating questions in every timeslot, we have provided a pre-recorded Q&A one hour before the start. The participants listened to that and added only their unanswered questions. And non-attendees had still content to use.

By rethinking the whole press conference-tool the outcome was great.

👍 No shyness of "good" journalists so that every "other" journalist also hears the good stuff, as everybody had "their" exclusive one-to-one session.

👍 Every journalist had the chance to talk on "their" level. We have to address totally different media outlets. Journalists who are closer to the issue are not annoying others with their endless questions about details.

👍 The event was optimized in time and space for everybody. It takes more time than having one talk for everybody. That's for sure. But it takes less than handling individual interviews for everybody and with the data driven time limits it worked out great.

Go #BeyondVictories and rethink you next press conference!


Christian Dreier
cd mediateam Est.

P.S.: I'm always ready to hear about your experiences on this topic. Share them with me anytime.

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