Mastering the Art of Press Conferences
What happens when you put PR, journalism, and tv broadcasting students together? You get a press conference. Once again our SenecaMedia students take things beyond the classroom and into the world, or in this case the cafeteria, to use what they’ve learned and apply it to real scenarios. But what does it really take to pull off something like this? We put together the 6 steps to mastering the art of press conferences!
So what are the 6 steps to mastering the art of press conferences? Let’s break it down.
Step 1: Hustle
For our students, a lot of the hustle they did happened long before the day of the conference. The PR students got together over the weekend to prep. That’s right they traded what is traditionally considered a time when you relax for hard work. The journalism students had to be prepared to balance listening intently, taking notes, and coming up with questions. We’re guessing there may have been coffee involved in their prep. Finally, the TV students had to make sure all their equipment was ready, everything from charged batteries to empty memory cards.
Step 2: Teamwork
What’s that cliche saying? Teamwork makes the dream work. Sounds cheesy, but when it comes to all the moving pieces of a press conference, nothing can happen without everyone working together and collaborating. The teamwork actually started with the profs coordinating with each other and agreeing to make this experience possible for their students. The PR students worked together to make sure setup went accordingly, while TV students made their plan of attack for who would operate which equipment, and journalism students readied each other to get the information needed for their stories.
Step 3: Communication
The main point of a press conference is to communicate a message to the public. The pressure of doing this well lies heavily on the PR students, but it shouldn’t be underestimated the importance of journalism and tv students having strong communication. As a journalist, information is everything and being able to gather, then communicate information is crucial. Meanwhile, TV students need to be communicating with each other effectively to ensure everyone knows what each other are doing and the shoot goes smoothly.
Step 4: Get the Shot
Speaking of the shoot going smoothly, documenting the press conference is just as important as the conference itself. The message will get out there and be heard if the conference is captured. This is up to the audience and the TV crew to make sure the broad public can be informed even though they can’t be at the conference. The important thing about getting the shot is to be fearless and don’t shy away from doing what it takes to capture what you want to be seen.
Step 5: Ask the tough questions
This is where the journalists shine through. It’s their responsibility to make sure the questions that the public deserve the answers to are actually answered. A press conference can be a lot happening at once, so the challenge for journalists becomes being able to properly formulate the right questions in time to get them answered.
Step 6: Expect the Unexpected
Nothing ever goes according to plan. A lot of the time the press conferences our students put on are about fairly controversial topics (usually things that really happened, too). This means that the reactions and questions can get heated. It’s up to the PR students to know what they can and can’t respond to, the journalism students to do whatever they can to get answers, and the TV students to make sure they catch it all.
It sounds like a lot, and you know what, it is. But it’s all worth it because it’s exactly what makes the #SenecaMedia fam so awesome.