3 Ways to Ditch the Press Conference

Candor recently helped a client open a new location. They wanted to generate buzz and excitement.

In the past, we would have suggested blowing up some balloons, ordering a backdrop and a podium. Then, we would hope the press showed up for our news conference (maybe we’d even let them know there would be cookies).

Now, we have much better ways to share big developments.

1) Own the Content – We didn’t wait for reporters to spread the news. Instead, we turned carefully crafted talking points and Q&A materials into blogs, news releases, etc. and posted them to the company’s website.

Along with those tactics, brands can share content on social media channels. Send a digital newsletter.

Basically, we took control of spreading the message, rather than waiting to see if TV stations and newspapers would do the job.

Brand bonus: Allocate a budget for social media advertising to amplify the message to your target audience.

2) Go Live – We also grabbed a mobile phone and broadcast the grand opening live. Hundreds of people watched in real-time, and the video ultimately reached thousands of people. We also interviewed the client on-site and posted the mobile video later in the day.

Facebook and Instagram have launched incredibly successful live video functions. These broadcasts are unedited, authentic and in the moment – which is exactly how most people prefer their content. This tactic also accommodates understaffed newsrooms. Reporters under tight deadlines may be more likely to watch the announcement on their computer rather than traveling to the event.

Brand bonus: Have a staff member play reporter. He or she can pose questions to leadership, give a tour of a new facility or demonstrate the newest product.

3) Tweet About It – In addition to the client’s other channels, we posted to Twitter throughout the day regarding the announcement and grand opening activities. Many reporters use Twitter as a resource to gather information and story ideas, and we generated additional coverage with a few posts and photos.

We issued a press statement in 140-character chunks. Today’s news consumer has a shorter attention span, and many get their news while scrolling through feeds in their spare moments. This change is scary, but it represents the future of our society and presents new opportunities for engaged brands to take control of the narrative.

Brand bonus: Include short videos or creative infographics online to increase interest and social media engagement.

Ultimately, we were successful with our client’s celebration because we didn’t focus on doing things the way they used to be done.

There are many innovative tactics companies can use to share information and announcements with the public instead of relying on traditional media. With new ways to create content, brands must take advantage of digital media channels and rethink their old communication plans to reach audiences and goals.

Your Marketing Plans Are, Like, So Last Year

For businesses, a new year is an opportunity to reflect on how to take marketing strategies to the next level and ditch plans that are, like, so last year.

Many new year’s resolutions have faltered, but February is still a good time to re-examine three marketing tactics that worked last year and see if they are here to stay.

Live Video 

Video recording on cell phone

Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms give priority to video, especially live videos. Companies need solid clips to stand out from competitors.

Live video provides unedited, authentic and in-the-moment storytelling many users now expect to see and share.

Verdict: Here to stay.

Press Conferences and News Releases 

press conference

Press conferences can advance an organization’s cause, especially when addressing significant news. The format provides an opportunity for different speakers to share specific messages. And live-streaming a press conference on social media to accommodate short-staffed newsrooms could broaden a story’s coverage. Press conferences also create touchpoints with members, potential customers or donors, and other stakeholders. Used right, press conferences can be successful.

News releases, another traditional tool, are on life support. A news release only doesn’t cut it anymore. Media pitches are often replaced with attention-getting social media posts sent directly to writers, reporters and targeted audiences.

Verdict: Not dead … yet.


Podcasts give organizations a place to share their thoughts on trends and the ability to target audiences. According to an Interactive Advertising Bureau study, one in five Americans have listened to a podcast in the last month. The challenge? Starting a podcast means staying committed to creating compelling content and promoting material consistently.

Verdict: Here to stay.

These tools can help kick-start an effective marketing plan. But to grow a client base or retain current customers, focus on the following three tactics.

Analytics and Measurement

What does success look like? What’s your business objective? How are companies learning more about customers? Install analytics tools for all email campaigns, websites, social media accounts and blogs. Use results to identify potential customers, and to learn about their communication and buying habits.

Paying for Social Media Advertising

social media
Organic reach has been declining for years. Social media platforms make their money from advertising, so they give priority to organizations that invest in ad dollars. eMarketer’s research shows digital ad spending reached $72 billion, surpassing TV ads in 2016.

Basically, you have to pay to play.

Investing in Video

video shoot

Videos dominate Facebook feeds and are shared seven more times than links. A study shows nearly 75 percent of adults are more likely to buy after watching a video explaining a product or service. Brands must create compelling content to attract and retain customers.

Constant change can be hard. But as old tactics become ineffective or out dated, new ones take their place. Learning the new ways reaps better engagement with the audience and a higher return on investment.