Top tips for hosting a successful media roundtable
Hosting a media roundtable can be a great way to showcase your Client as a well-respected industry leader who’s at the forefront of their sector, whilst also giving target media great content ideas that will drive coverage.
If you’re new to PR or haven’t come across a media roundtable event before, it’s essentially an intimate media event hosted by a Client, who decides on specific topic upfront for media to discuss and debate.
We’ve hosted various roundtables for our clients, so here are our top tips for making your event a success:
1.Carefully select your invitees. When planning an event, the biggest concern is often getting bums on seats, however, from experience we’ve learnt that quality trumps quantity every time. Do your research; for instance, who’s written about the topic recently? Are there any media with a personal interest on the matter?
2.Be clear on deliverables. The goal might not necessarily be coverage the next day (although great if it happens!) but instead it’s about long-term relationship building. In addition to the column inches, you want to prove your expertise, listen to the journalists and then be their first port of call when they’re writing about the subject matter the next time.
3.Practice makes perfect. Spend time doing a practice run with the Client. Think about all the questions that a journalist could possibly ask and be prepared! Remember to have a clear focus on the subject matter and agree on the main discussion points up front.
4.It’s a two-way thing! As much as this is a great opportunity for your Client to get in front of media with their product or service, it’s also important to find out what they think about the subject matter. At the start, why not ask media to introduce themselves and share their own views on/personal experience of the topic
5.And finally, make sure you think carefully about the time of day you’re hosting your roundtable – breakfast or dinner? Where is it being held? Journalists are only human, so why not entice them with a beautiful event venue? And last but not least, what food and drink will be served? After all, you want the experience to be an enjoyable!