Getting ready for a trade show can be overwhelming, even for those of us who are regular exhibitors. Early in my career, I was at a show every fifth week, which made life quite busy for a year or two. To make it simple for all of us, here's a quick and easy calendar of activities you need to keep in mind.
Initiating public relations activities, even at the most minimal level, is always beneficial.
Profitable PR, though, requires an investment of time and money to fully realize ROI.
Sending out a press release every month “just because” will get your name out there. Whether it is to the right people remains to be seen.
Once upon a time, I covered trade shows as a market analyst for a major consumer publication. Shortly thereafter I flipped to the other side of the desk and ended up with a press conference on one side of the Consumer Electronics Show and a photo shoot clear across the exhibition hall. Let’s just say that roller skates were very much on my mind by the time I finished my Mrs. Doubtfire dash back and forth across the crowded exhibit halls.
I empathize with journalists who have been given the immense task of covering trade shows, scouting for new trends, and trying to maintain relationships with industry leaders. That is why when I have a client exhibiting, I try to be a resource to media covering the show by helping them identify my clients’ product introductions long before the show, setting up interviews or, better still, pre-show interviews to save journalist’s precious time, jet-lagged exhaustion, and, especially, their shoe leather.
The past decade has seen a clear trend toward attenuated press releases. Gone are the days of public relations people writing long screeds, with endless quotes and reams of data. This is partially an outgrowth of the use of email, social media, and chat as the preferred forms of communication between the public relations community and the press (which, for our purposes, includes bloggers and analysts). The explosion of technologies and information, in general, has, in turn, led to journalists’ exploding email boxes.
Recently, I spoke with a marketer who had used ChatGPT to revise some content he created; it initially performed in its "regular" way - writing the idea clearly, but being quite redundant. Of course, he had to tweak the prompt to ask it to vary the word choice. Once it did that, it incorrectly stated that the product did X and Y as a single feature. He had then had to "teach it" that those were two separate activities until it provided decent results.
What if he were in a hurry or didn't know enough about the product to understand that the AI created an error that wasn't there before?
Even in the days of AI, AI can't deliver the most critical asset you possess - your institutional memory - the why, how, and way you do business.
Retaining a PR firm with the expectation that they’ll hit the ground running without knowing and understanding your business from start to finish isn’t realistic.
Even the savviest public relations professionals who have worked in your industry for many years require mindshare to get started and not just from the CEO. They may need to hear from your executives, sales force, current clients, and even prospective customers. Successful PR requires a highly collaborative approach.