How to Set Up Your Event Media Area for Great Press Coverage

Stan Bush, Senior Consultant | Rockford Gray

Getting media attention for your story or event is more difficult than ever.

In today’s world of media-savvy public relations professionals, print and TV reporters are being pitched constantly. And with social media in the hands of the everyone with a mobile device, stories are coming from all over, all the time. The press has their pick of what to report on. And if your event doesn’t have a good setup for the media you miss the opportunity to get the press coverage you need.

Small trash room area roped off for reports at the denver city and county building

Not the best way to set up a media area.

How to avoid getting media coverage

Recently I came across a tweet from a former colleague of mine regarding what should have been a good news story at Denver’s City & County Building. But because the event organizers neglected to consider the reporters and the many stories they can choose from to write they didn’t get important news coverage.

It’s not hard to imagine why this “media holding area” tucked into the City’s trash corner infuriated members of the Denver media. And remember, this was supposed to be a positive story.

There are certainly instances when media access must be restricted.  But relegating reporters to a roped off corner designated a “media holding area” doesn’t help them get the story. 

Not making any effort to accommodate the press is a great way to not get your story covered at all, which happened in this case. The next time you pitch a story you’re even less likely to get considered.

Reporters do not like to be held and makes it difficult to get the information they need.  Even if you’re handling a crisis and don’t want the media in your way or have a view of your work, you still have to make a good faith effort to acknowledge they have a job to do and consider their needs.  That is simply in your best interest.

Pro Tip: How to make your event attractive to reporters

If you’re trying to pitch today’s media, it’s important to think of your news from the report’s perspective.

As a former reporter, here are two tips for making sure the media covers your story, and takes you seriously in the future:

  • Make it easy for the reporter. Provide the visual elements, the leaders, subject matter experts and real people who will best tell your story.
  • Watch the clock. Remember that reporters are operating under a deadline, know those deadlines and be ready to go when they are.

When it comes to getting a story out through traditional media, whether you like it or not, you are dependent on reporters.  It’s important to treat them with respect.

Catering to the media can be exasperating, but that can be the price of getting your story covered and the benefits you receive from the media coverage.

Do you have an upcoming event or story that deserves press coverage? Let’s talk about how to attract the best press coverage.  Call (303) 799-3900 or Email

Stan Bush is a senior consultant with Rockford Gray. For more than a decade he covered politics, science, the environment, and business for KCNC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Denver.