SEMA eNews Vol. 22, No. 26, June 27, 2019

Journalists Explain Best Ways to Generate SEMA Show Media Coverage

By Rachel Tatum

  Exhibitor Summit
Journalists sat down with exhibitors during last week’s Exhibitor Summit in Las Vegas, sharing proven tips and personal insight on how exhibitors can obtain additional media coverage before, during and after the SEMA Show.
   

Journalists sat down with exhibitors during last week’s Exhibitor Summit in Las Vegas, sharing proven tips and personal insight on how exhibitors can obtain additional media coverage before, during and after the SEMA Show. While the media panel offered dozens of valuable suggestions, there were common themes that resonated from all six journalists who were on the panel. Among the suggestions:

Provide Information Electronically: One of the panelists said that “paper doesn’t really help us a great deal,” while another panelist simply said, “reporters are lazy.” Either way, a common suggestion from the journalists was to provide press materials electronically, whether on a USB drive or on your company website. The idea is to make it easy for journalists to easily copy and paste the text.

Post Releases Online: Journalist confirmed that they refer to the Online Media Center for content before, during and even after the SEMA Show. The Online Media Center is a portal where all SEMA Show exhibitors are able to upload press releases. Exhibitors can attach photos and select the market segments that are relevant to their news.

Focus on the Benefits: Highlight the key benefits of your product in the beginning of your press release. Reporters receive countless press releases announcing new products, so having a new product isn’t news to them. What will interest them is what makes your product different. “Tell me what problem your product is solving.”

Include High-Res Images and Videos: While many media outlets post news stories online, many also have printed publications and need high-res images. Some reporters also suggested including links to short videos. “If all you have is a still, it’s not as exciting. Video tells a story.” Panelists unanimously agreed that the video does not need to be professionally produced and most cell phones are capable of generating acceptable videos for their needs.

Consider Offering Embargos: Journalists understand that exhibitors oftentimes break announcements on the first day of the SEMA Show, but if the information is not ready and prepared to release, then it’s more likely that stories won’t run at all. Giving a reporter advance information and photos under embargo can be a great strategy to get the reporter to cover your story.

Bonus Tip for First-Time Exhibitors: Many journalists have been attending the SEMA Show for multiple years and have established relationships with exhibitors. However, all reporters are always looking for new content and suggested that first-time exhibitors highlight in their press materials that they are exhibiting at the SEMA Show for the first time. “Tell me you’re brand new to the SEMA Show and tell me a little something about your company.”

To receive additional tips or for assistance with media outreach during the SEMA Show, contact Rachel Tatum at rachelt@sema.org or 909-978-6669.

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