Media events

$1k to $5k
estimated cost of external help
  • Communicate effectively
  • Share
0-2 weeks
estimated run time
3-5 weeks
estimated lead time
Strong communicator
recommended experience
Help spread information widely about your new policy or service in a short space of time, using media outlets such as television news. These are typically held when you have something to announce that will affect or interest a large number of people, such as a decision about a policy, or an upcoming public event such as a citizens’ jury.

In 5 steps...

  1. Determine your key messages and who will be interested in them. Also decide who will be speaking – usually, the more important the person, the more media will attend. Ministers often find themselves the speakers at media events for this reason.
  2. Announce your event to the appropriate media contacts, and share through social media if you’re happy to also open up the event to the public.
  3. Pre-prepare your speaker for answering a range of questions on the topic. Determine how you will handle any conflict that arises if the public is in attendance. And provide a means by which people can learn more in the closing comments.
  4. Secure your venue, and if necessary other resources such as catering and/or security personnel.
  5. Once your event is complete, monitor social media to gauge the reaction, recording anything important to your process. Respond to questions and comments in a timely and courteous fashion.

When to use it

A media event is a great way to communicate an announcement on a new policy or service, or an upcoming call for engagement if your project is high-profile and you want to reach a large number of affected parties with limited effort and cost.


  • Quickly reach a broad audience.
  • Increased visibility.
Long term
  • Reduced conflict when new changes take effect.


  • If what is said is not carefully planned, it might not come across in the way you intend it to. Test your messaging first if possible, or stick to the most conservative and fact-based components of your issue.
  • It’s not always possible to predict the result of a public announcement. Prepare in advance for any conflict or backlash that might arise. It’s good to pair the announcement with a free-call or 1800 number, or to put on extra reception/call staff, to deal with questions from the public.



  • Research who is likely to attend and what questions they might have, and prepare material accordingly.
  • Ensure your signage is attractive and clearly shows who you represent and the reason you are there.
  • Consider what material you should distribute to attendees and where, or if, the audience can contact you to ask further questions or make comments.
  • Test your content with representatives of the intended audience first. The media likes a scandal, and if they can misinterpret what you say to create conflict, the less-respectable outlets will twist your meaning to get more out of the story.

During the process

  • Have a speaker who is well respected, influential and well briefed.
  • Make sure you have trained your staff to know how to respond when they don’t have an answer to a question, and where to direct visitors for further information.
  • Have staff circulate around the event to gauge reactions and note any initial comments or angles regarding your announcement.


  • Be sure to follow up as soon as possible with anyone who provided their details to receive further information.

Also see: