By Bethany Smith, Account Director at Eskenzi PR
With RSA, one of the largest – if not the largest – information security events in the world coming up from the 4thto the 7thof March in San Francisco, we thought we would prepare some tips to help guide companies through how they can make the most of media opportunities at this important show.
One of the questions that always comes up from our clients is whether or not it is still important to release news while at the show or launch a new product with an elaborate announcement. For many, this is vital part of being at an event such as RSA and proving to prospects, peers and the competition that they have “showed up” and are ready to play. However, as the saying goes: the game is not won on the field, it’s won in practice; so, think about the prep and planning and aim to release news two weeks ahead of the show.
By frontloading this news, you can build momentum for the company’s announcement and allow your spokespeople some breathing space while at the show. For instance, instead of shoe-horning in a meeting with a reporter, who may feel distracted at the event, there will be opportunities to pre-brief reporters allowing them time to write it and freeing up vital spokespeople on the show floor.
Indeed, if there is time sensitivity and there is a reason why the news needs to break at the event, why not send it to reporters under embargo and offer pre-briefings ahead of time? The only caution here would be to make sure there is a damn good reason for an embargo and not just an embargo for embargo’s sake, as this can irritate journalists.
The next most popular point of discussion is just how many press briefings to expect while at the show. The short answer is: up to ten. The long answer involves consideration of the reporter’s news stream – who or what topics have you prepared that are genuinely interesting to press? Remember, reporters want to talk about issues and not products. Therefore, let the reporters be your guide – what are they writing about? Does your product help solve these issues? If yes, then focus on the larger problem at hand – tell a story… then give them a few minutes (tops) on the product.
Finally, whatever you do – follow up after the show! Reporters will have mountains of meetings and be talked at A LOT over the course of a few days. Respect this and send them some notes and any thing else you agreed at the meeting. NOTE: this means, *pr people* – pay attention! Help your client by taking detailed notes and jotting down agreed upon follow up actions.
I wouldn’t want to give everything away in this blog, so do head over to: https://bit.ly/2zQmexj where you will hear Eskenzi Senior Account Director Maureen MacGregor and Yvonne Eskenzi discuss these points and more, including press meeting tips, setting up your own briefing events and how to take advantage of the RSA Broadcast Alley.