Prepping Your Newsworthy Event for Media Coverage

Having an event and expect or want television, newspaper, radio, and internet coverage? Here's how you can make your newsworthy event press media ready.

Media in Central Park New York City
By: Ernst MoeksisCC BY 2.0

Certain kinds of events will always be in the media spotlight. While this can be great PR for your organization or cause, having media on hand raises the bar of expectations, as well as the level of stress.

From charity balls to a 5K race, it’s important to be prepared for the media’s interest. Often you'll know ahead of time if the cameras are coming, but plan ahead of time and save yourself a headache later, just in case of a surprise.

Go ahead and notify local media outlets of the details of your event (i.e. time and place). This is one of the most helpful tips around for one major reason: You’re in control. If possible, send out a media release and be prepared to respond to questions. If you invite the media on your own terms, you automatically have an upper hand in ultimately determining what will make it to TV.

Tip: Industry and local bloggers shoud be treated as media too. They can generate a lot of buzz for your event to increase registrations, as well as provide coverage during the event. They're easier to invite too, simply reach out to possible bloggers and invite them by offering a press passes and exclusive access.

Once you receive confirmation that the media is interested, start prepping shots for the camera crews. Make a list of priority shots: You know when, where and what the event's most important attractions will be, so let the crew know! Don’t be shy in this department; you know the ins and outs of this event better than anyone!

Make sure you (and other key figures at your event) are “camera ready.” If you know ahead of time that you'll be interviewed, it’s worth the time and money to do professional hair and makeup. It makes a big difference on screen. It can be very helpful to have a participant on hand for a quick interview as well. Perhaps you can arrange to have important participants ready for questions.

While it’s impossible to guarantee every aspect of what will grab media's attention, being prepared takes away a great deal of the unknown. When you are proactive in generating ideas and making the media crew's job easier, you're sure to have more control in what shots are used, resulting in excellent reception for your event.

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Maggie is a public relations and marketing specialist whose love for adventure has transplanted her southern-belle ambitions to the west coasts' Vancouver, BC. Maggie loves writing, reading, cooking and most anything in the great outdoors.


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