Many companies enlist our help for managing their media and press relationsbefore a major industry trade show or exhibition. However, in the excitement preceding the big day, exhibitors tend to get over enthusiastic and fill their press packs with extraneous goodies and other junk. 

Here are a few examples of what not to put in a press pack, tempting as they may seem when you have the pre-show rush of blood to the head:

1. Company brochures, product guides and datasheets. Journalists have a good eye for spotting interesting facts (they sometimes refer to them as news stories). Giving them a pile of technical information will not convince them to reproduce it in their feature but rather to dispose of it as soon as they leave the show.

2. Memory sticks with information going back five years. Newsworthiness is the overarching law for the media. Dated information about products your company launched years ago will be of little interest to them.

3. All the press releases you’ve issued in the past year. Although you may think that some background information is always needed in order to get the bigger picture, you can actually fit everything you need into your preview press release. The press don’t have the time to go through all of your old releases to find out what’s interesting, so they will end up thinking of your carefully prepared pack as spam.

4. Stationery. Although welcomed in gift bags, notepads, pens, memory sticks and agendas should not be the core elements of your organisation’s press pack. Very few journalists look forward to back problems in later life, caused by dragging corporate junk back from the NEC.

5. Products which are unrelated to your line of business such as iPods, toys, chocolates…unless you work for a chocolate factory of course. 

Now that you have a better idea about what not to put in a press pack, let’s take a look at what the pack should actually consist of:

1. Useful information. A press release about the event you are taking part in, what you are exhibiting, your hopes and expectations and your opinion of the industry the exhibition serves. And a photo. 

When it comes to providing information to journalists, one golden rule should apply: keep things simple but creative and newsworthy and you will get all the coverage your company requires.

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