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Six tips for handling MWC PR, part one

Posted by Alex Perryman on 23rd January 2013

As the date for MWC looms PRs up and down the land can feel the veins in their neck getting that *little bit tighter*.

Still, MWC is the mobile industry’s biggest event: Clearly it’s worth the occasional embolism to ensure we’re handling client PR as well as we can?

We thought that, since we’ve been nice enough to share some tips as to how to enjoy the show, we’d also think about talking to you about, y’know, ‘PR and stuff’. It’ll never catch on.

Here’s our first six top tips for managing MWC effectively.

1. Budget accordingly

A slow day in MWC accounts-receivable…

Planning on marrying off any of your kids this year? You might want to cancel. One of the first things any MWC veteran will tell you about the show, if we’re honest, is its eye-watering cost.

We can’t emphasise enough that you should think the show through carefully. After all, before you even draw breath you’ll be required to pay for:

– floorspace

– stand design and construction

– consultancy fees

– staff expenses in terms of food and hotels

– entertainment expenses, (which, if the sales people are doing their job correctly, and networking, will probably be not inconsiderable)

and all the rest.

Of course, for most of our clients it’s totally worth it; that’s why it’s such a popular show. But the cost also points towards why you should think through your spend carefully, as well as exactly what you’re doing.

On the plus side, you can get a very good rate on the open market for kidneys these days: Your staff may have a few, so consider a group initiative.

2. Start your PR effort early

Actually probably the most important, and simplest, bit of advice a PR can offer you regarding MWC.

Bear in mind that a lot of companies will be competing for the attention of attendees and journalists, and journalists may be getting hundreds of calls a day. As such, you’ll do well to issue any important news within the optimal January to early February window.

February distributions can actually work wonders, but if your aim is to gain coverage to drive customer-traffic to the stand, (as opposed to simply attracting the journalists to the stand to announce something at the show), bear in mind that many print publications go to press in mid to late January; some even earlier, (and despite the general direction the media is going in, the print media isn’t completely irrelevant just yet).

And it goes without saying that you should start pitching over the phone to your press list just as early. Journos’ time books up pretty quickly.

3. Consider carefully whether to launch before or at the show

You think competition for the journalists’ attention and copy was hard *before* the show? Try getting their attention *during* the show.

Unless you’re one of the biggest players in the industry, bear in mind that launches *at* the show are likely to get drowned-out by the noise; (that’d be the noise of hundreds of other companies in your industry trying to launch something big at the same time as you).

4. Be careful with your time at the show

It can take an awfully long time to get from one side of the venue to another, especially with all the people there. Do not book interviews for individual spokespeople too tightly: Always leave yourself and others a bit of wriggle-room and travel time.

5. Don’t wheel out any ‘babes’. No, seriously don’t. Stop it. Don’t do it.

The attempt to appear glamorous *can* backfire. On an unrelated note, NUKE IT FROM ORBIT!

*Don’t* wheel out glamour girls. It’s tacky and just risks backlash. (See our blog on the now-infamous CBOSS incident).

6. Ensure you have journalists’ mobile numbers

Journalists *will* be late to appointments once in a while. Make sure you have their mobile numbers, and that they have yours, so that appointments can be rearranged on-the-fly as necessary.


Photos courtesy of Blogspot and the Mirror.

Alex Perryman

Alex joined Wildfire in 2007. He is renowned for his ability to pick up complex technologies and new industries extremely quickly.