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Trade Show Media Relations Dos and Don’ts

Katie Robertson - Account Executive, Public Relations

When clients go to trade shows, we will often work with them to set up meetings with editors of trade publications and industry news sites who are also in attendance. This is a great opportunity for businesses to take advantage of being in the same space as important media contacts by building relationships and positioning themselves for earned media opportunities. These dos and don’ts will help you make the most of every conversation and communicate the best possible messaging for your brand.


  • Know who you’ll be talking to

    • We will provide details such as the person’s name, publication and any relevant topics from the editorial calendar for you to review before the meeting.

  • Come up with speaking points before the meeting

    • Based on the reporter, come up with 3-5 newsworthy speaking points such as new products, business developments or differentiators to focus on.

      • Ex: Our company recently added a new product, expanding our capabilities in the XX market.

      • Ex: Company XX brings these unique values to our customers.

  • Have relevant handouts/resources available to give them

    • A physical resource or preexisting link builds credibility to what you’re saying and helps them remember your conversation later.

      • Ex: Product sell sheets or design books

      • Ex: Blog or case study that reinforces your speaking points

  • Be concise

    • Speak in quotable sound bites that the reporter can use. These meetings will also only be scheduled for 15-20 minutes, so keep an eye on the time and don’t go over.


  • Speak in negatives

    • Don’t repeat negatives from their questions or answer using negative words/phrases.

      • Ex: Instead of “We will never stop delivering quality products,” say, “We will always deliver quality products.”

  • Talk down on competitors

    • Stick to the benefits of your company instead of the deficits of competitors.

      • Ex: Instead of, “Our competitors don’t emphasize quality the way we do,” say, “Our products are durable and long-lasting.”

  • Speculate

    • If a reporter asks something you don’t know the answer to, direct them to someone who does or tell them that you will check and get back to them. Don’t guess or make it up.

  • Answer every question literally

    • You can pivot your responses to highlight your speaking points and make your company look better.

      • Ex: Q- “Why is your product so expensive?” A- “Our customers don’t need to pay to repair or replace the product, so the durability actually dramatically increases the ROI.”

Ultimately, editors are looking for a story, and you have good ones to tell. Following these tips will simply help refine and communicate the great content you already possess to advance your brand and enhance your marketing.


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