The Day of the Press Conference

• Arrive at least one hour before the event. This will give you time to attend to any last-minute matters. Speakers should arrive at least one half hour before the event and use the time to familiarize themselves with the facilities, attend to any last-minute details, and relax for a few minutes before the event begins.

• Assign someone the role of "greeter." The greeter is charged with meet­ing guests as they arrive, directing them to the sign-in table, and see­ing them into the conference area. The greeter should be able to an­swer any questions the guests may have.

• Start the press conference on time, even if attendance is sparse.

• An official should welcome the media and briefly mention why the press conference has been called. As suggested previously, that person

should acknowledge VIPs and key speakers, introduce the spokesper­sons, and let the media know that these persons will answer questions at the conclusion of the presentation.

• Following the presentation (s), it may be appropriate for the moder­ator to very briefly summarize the key messages and then open the session to questions. The question and answer portion of the press conference should last no more than 15 to 20 minutes. The modera­tor should call on each reporter who has a question. Tip: It is a good idea to ask the reporter to identify him or herself and the name of their organization.

• Often the moderator will repeat the question so that all can hear it. The moderator then designates the appropriate person to answer the question.

After the Press Conference

• Consider sending thank you notes to the VIPs who attended.

• Distribute press kits to key media who were unable to attend.

• Monitor the press for coverage.