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Peter's Blog

A few things to know about news conferences

Posted on February 1, 2019 at 12:10 PM

A news conference is a media event to which newsmakers invite journalists to hear them speak and, afterwards, ask questions.

There are two main reasons for holding a news conference.

  1. So a newsmaker who gets many questions from reporters can answer them all at once.
  2. So an organization that thinks it has a newsworthy announcement, launch, or product can attract wide-spread media attention.

Typically at a news conference, a spokesperson will make a statement. Once the spokesperson is finished making the statement, he/she may take questions from reporters. Occasionally, there is a statement with no questions permitted.

If there’s no statement made or questions allowed, it’s simply a photo opportunity.

In today’s 24 hour news environment, TV news programs air for hours at a time, and internet outlets around the globe track breaking news instantly. In order to meet this kind of demand, editors have a steadily increasing need for newsworthy footage. News conferences can be a useful way to help satisfy this appetite.

Who holds news conferences? Here are a few examples:
  • Politicians (Prime Ministers, Presidents etc.)
  • Sports teams
  • Celebrities or film studios
  • Commercial organizations
  • Attorneys

A news conference is often announced by sending an advisory or news release to media outlets in advance. Sometimes an impromptu news conference can occur as several reporters gather around a newsmaker. Such a news conference is called a ‘scrum.’

Where can a news conference be held? Just about anywhere.

  • The Press Gallery on Parliament Hill
  • The White House Press Room
  • The scene of a crime
  • Hotel conference rooms

Categories: Public Relations, Corporate Communications