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Four things to avoid when managing a media centre

Managing a media centre for hundreds of journalists at a major event is something we are very familiar with. We understand the huge amount of work that goes on, not only looking after the media centre itself, but all the work that happens behind the scenes. Senior account executive Charlotte Spencer reveals four things you shouldn’t do when managing a media centre.

Managing media can be tricky but we can help

Last month, the Cartwright team managed the media centre at the Lincolnshire Show, one of Lincolnshire’s biggest events of the year. With 60,000 visitors and more than 150 members of the local and national media, it was a busy two days filled with media liaison, non-stop interviews and a buzzing media tent.

We’ve therefore put together a list of things to avoid to make sure your media centre runs as smoothly as possible.

Don’t rely on printed copies 

Smartphones have revolutionised our lives in ways we never thought would be possible. Beyond the communication methods of calling, texting and emailing, people rely on their phones to follow the news, order an uber, navigate their way around, share updates on social media and much more. In a digital world, we all want easily accessible information on our phones, which is why we provide journalists with digital copies of handouts and key information, as well as traditional printed copies. This includes a comprehensive list of media opportunities to help set them up for the day ahead and a map to help journalists navigate the site.

Don’t stick to a rigid schedule

It can sometimes be difficult for journalists, particularly broadcast, to plan ahead with interviews. Although we try to do the best we can when it comes to setting up interviews in advance, we are often inundated with last minute requests and need to have a flexible approach. It is our job to act fast, find out who is available for the interview, give a quick brief and accompany the person to make sure they feel at ease. We fill out an interview schedule as soon as the request comes in, including all the key contacts so that we can quickly get in touch if the interview gets changed or cancelled at the last minute.

 

Don’t make the same mistakes

Learning from mistakes and keeping a record as you go along is key to a successful event. If a journalists asks a question which you haven’t been asked before or if there are operational issues in the media centre, it is really important that these are noted so that they don’t happen again and catch you off guard.

 

Finally, definitely don’t panic in a crisis!

Having a crisis communications plan in place is essential when working on such a large-scale event. It is crucial that both the PR team and client is prepared and a formal approved process is in place to cover all potential PR disasters. It is the PR team’s job to act calm and ‘kill’ negative stories about the organisation by talking through the situation with journalists.

A crisis communication plan should include:

  • The crisis communication team with key contacts, names and numbers
  • The approved process
  • Designated spokesperson – ideally media trained
  • Media policies and procedures
  • Prepared statements and PR materials
  • Contact log
  • Social media management

The Cartwright team runs events throughout the year. We provide press office support at large-scale shows such as the Lincolnshire Show; run and manage bar and restaurant launches; represent the Midlands at MIPIM, the world’s largest property event; and deliver public consultations for our property and construction clients.

Get in touch with us to find out more and how we can help you.

Event management

We thrive on the pressure of a live event; from restaurant launches and exhibition openings, to managing county shows and festivals.

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By Charlotte Spencer

Charlotte supports both consumer and B2B clients, working across food and drink, events, leisure, lifestyle, property and construction sectors securing national and regional coverage. Charlotte has experience in delivering creative campaigns, creating engaging content on social media, managing events as well as copywriting for SEO.

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