There has been much written about the end of the press release now we are in an era of digital publication. It is not that debate that has interested me today but rather whether there is a place in the world of the communicator of 2015 for the traditional press conference or media facility.
I suppose we have to track back about what we want to achieve through a press conference. For me it is about sharing information with a large number of journalists in a timely fashion. It not only provides information but allows people to ask questions that may concern them to get a clear understanding of the issue.
When you look at that I suppose there are lots of uses for digital technology to achieve those aims. Technology allows us to distribute information to a large number of people quickly, and it also can be the starting point for a conversation. So, if that is the case then why would we still see press conferences in 2015?
There is a level of seriousness that is afforded by bringing people together for a press conference. This is why I don’t think they should be used very often. They have to retain an element of rarity so that journalists understand the serious nature of the issue. It is almost an unwritten definition of the press conference for me – that it has to be about a significant issue. This is why they are most usually seen during crises.
I am not sure that a technological development would be able to deliver all the same elements and create an air of gravitas about the situation. What I do know is that technology helps to support the press conference. People are able to post on social media instantly and grow the reach of the conference, as well as being able to create communication packages quickly.
The role of the news release may be subject to discussion and debate but for me there is not yet a replacement for the press conference.