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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Hype Your New Products - Trade Show Media Relations

One of the things I enjoy most about my job is trade show media relations. I don't think it is just that I get to go to trade shows in Ft. Lauderdale FL in the middle of February, but that certainly doesn't hurt.

Trade shows and conferences are a great way to promote new products, get to know your customers and build relationships with key reporters. As such, it is critical that you have strategic plan when you step into the exhibit hall, so that you know exactly who you need to talk to and what you want to say.

Sandra Helse from ExperiencePR.com, has a list of things to consider as you prepare for your next show she suggests 11 things to do before and during your next show:
1. Build PR into the total tradeshow marketing plan.

2. Build a PR analysis of previous years' tradeshows and use that historical information to plan for the upcoming event.

3. Cross-reference your marketing goals with the topics covered by media representatives who will be at the tradeshow.

4. Compile ongoing portfolios with articles from the top-tier writers who covered the tradeshow in previous years.

5. Issue invitations to the top-tier targeted media representatives who cover the tradeshow topic.

6. Write and distribute a Press Release that informs the media you are exhibiting.

7. Prepare a Press Kit that includes your conference press release and any additional releases you have sent out during the past six months. (MNPR Blog note: You may want to consider something other than the traditional paper press kit if you want to grab the reporter's attention. For example you could create an electronic press kit and put all your company information on a CD.)

8. Talk to the major wire services representatives (PRNewswire or BusinessWire) in the press room.

9. Ask for business cards from any representative of the media you meet at the show.

10. Contact the press after the tradeshow is finished.

11. If you choose to contract externally for PR services, choose a Public Relations consultant who has experience in your industry.
One additional thing to consider after the show is evaluation. Examine what worked for you and what didn't. Too often it is easy to just move on to the next thing without stopping to consider what can be improved.

Technorati Tags: Trade show, Media Relations, Press Release, Planning