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Media Relations For Large Trade Shows: It's Still All About Relationship Creation

Agencies like ours have countless case studies of successful media campaigns at some of the country's largest trade shows -- and we have the frequent flyer miles and knowledge of the Vegas strip to show for it. We always tell our clients that, in the end, despite having a pre-registered press list all ready to go from the organizers, it's still all about relationship building.

And actually, there are very few differences between media campaigns that involve trade shows and those that do not. Spray and pray tactics are garbage. They've always been. But they are even more despised and obvious to journalists who find their name and email address on that pre-registered press list handed out to all the vendors and sponsors.

It pays off to invest time in each individual journalist. Get to know their unique perspectives in the industry. Don't limit your background research to just the latest article you see. They'll notice that. Instead, add value by offering new data or information without making a request of them. Naturally, that can make it a multi-day or even multi-week effort, but it pays off handsomely. Many of our best journalist relationships evolved from DISCUSSIONS we've had with them outside of a media pitch.

True, genuine engagement has no replacement. That 1,000+ long registered press list doesn't change that one bit. It's still very much about relationships. PR account executives who operate that way are not only liked by journalists, they're oftentimes both publicly and privately praised.

So the next time you see yourself scrolling through a never-ending trade show press list, remember that it's the quality of the pitch and research that matters most.


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