A public relations expert says you should offer expertise, not a sales pitch, when talking to a reporter. Also: Keep your attendees’ dietary needs in mind when planning the menu for your next event.
It’s understandable. You’re on the phone or at a coffee shop with a journalist, and you see a great opportunity to pitch your association’s latest offerings.
Don’t fall into that trap, says Marsha Friedman, founder of public relations firm EMS, Inc. The reporter asked for the interview because of your expertise, so the soft-pedal approach is the way to go.
“Yes, it may be the reason you’re granting interviews, but if you want to sell something, buy an ad. The journalists are looking to you as someone with a particular expertise who can provide content for their readers,” Friedman writes for Association Media & Publishing. “You may be adding another voice to a story with multiple viewpoints or sharing your personal or professional story. Either way, the goal of the journalist is to write an article that’s useful, informative, and entertaining. Your goal is to get media exposure for your organization and to be recognized for your expertise in front of thousands of eyes.”
Friedman offers practical tips like these: Answer only questions you are comfortable with, speak distinctly, and offer high-quality photos. Good advice for any exec before the big interview.
— Cincinnati USA CVB (@CincyUSA) February 10, 2015
Dietary restrictions are tough for event planners to work around and can prove particularly painful during certain religious holidays.
Which is why meeting planners should be aware of these issues ahead of time and consider them when working on event details, according to the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau’s MTG PLNR Blog.
According to the post, “There is just nothing worse than fasting for religious reasons and being surrounded by food … glorious, delicious food. Your attendees will be grumpy from the fast and from staring at whatever you are serving. That does not add up to … positive word-of-mouth from the attendees affected.”
The bureau suggests relying on buffet-style dining options and hiring caterers who can handle special options like gluten-free, halal, and vegan. (ht @CincyUSA)
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