Understanding what goes into a press conference

For one of my units this year, BA Public Relations teamed up with 21st Century Tiger – a charity based in London Zoo, who work to support tiger conservation projects around Asia.  We were asked to create an innovative membership scheme, to encourage long term supporters and advocates for the charity. We then had to organise a press conference and pitch our campaign to the charity and our course leaders; BA journalism students would also attend in attempt to create an accurate experience by challenging us with questions. We were briefed by the client, 21st Century Tiger, and then it was all down to us to have the campaign and press conference ready in just a few weeks.

Firstly, in our groups we were asked to create a PR agency, fully branded and established. Then, as ‘Cosmo PR’, we held regular team meetings to come up with the idea for our membership scheme. After weeks of planning, creating posters, business cards, writing invitations and organising the event, we were ready for the big pitch!

I was to represent the CEO of Cosmo PR and speak at the press conference on behalf of the agency. At first, 21st Century Tiger was a charity that nobody in the group knew anything about, this identified the importance of detailed research and demonstrated that you can learn to speak accurately in an area you previously may not have been confident in. I was also responsible for hosting the team meetings and keeping track of our progress as a group- this was an huge test of leadership and organisation skills, but I embraced the challenge and thoroughly enjoyed the role.

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The 19th February 2016 marked the day of the press conference. As a team, we felt quietly confident (but also quite nervous) as we worked extremely hard to ensure we were prepared. Our membership scheme (Tiger Champion) was based on loyalty, giving family orientated rewards back to it’s members to encourage long-term support. Overall, we felt our work paid off and we were genuinely pleased with how the conference went.

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We are still awaiting our grades for the unit; but nonetheless, the whole experience has given us a small insight into the world of PR, providing us with invaluable experience which undeniably, will pay off in the future. I would like to thank my course leader, Adrian Crookes, on behalf of my group, for such a great opportunity!

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