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Virtual Press Conferences as an ideal alternative during the pandemic and beyond

Press Conferences are an integral part of the PR took kit and are considered as one of the most effective ways to communicate a news. Closely knitted to the PR sphere, Press Conferences have been around since a long time. Traditional Press Conferences are being held in person, inviting Media personnel to a face-to-face interaction. However, the travel restrictions and social distancing initiatives implemented since the Covid-19 outbreak impeded the continuity of traditional Press Conferences for the first time in the history, as it was the case with many physical events. The silver lining is that the pandemic provided an opportunity to hold Press Conferences virtually and not before too long, PR Agencies in Sri Lanka shifted to Virtual Press Conferences or hybrid events, whenever possible under strict health guidelines.

Let’s explore key changes to the Press Conference structure with the shift to virtual events

Virtual Press Conferences are being held via innovative platforms such as ZOOM and other exclusive virtual event platforms. While traditional Press Conferences have limited access due to space and logistical concerns, virtual Press Conferences can easily accommodate a larger audience online. The hybrid events concept is a new approach to events and Press Conferences. When it comes to hybrid events, the organizer can choose to hold the Press Conference physically with limited audience, while providing access for more participants to join the event online.

Benefits of Virtual Press Conferences

It is fair to say that virtual Press Conferences have come to stay with us for many reasons. Traditional Press Conferences involve a lot of arrangements and logistics, but going virtual enables the organizations to plan and initiate the whole process within a short time span. Virtual Press conferences open up the opportunity for the participation of a larger audience and also to share the stream across multiple social media platforms simultaneously. The entire event can be posted on social media platforms as a means of brand engagement.  It is observed that media presence can be comparatively high as the media personnel can connect virtually which is time saving.

Challenges when conducting Virtual Press Conferences

The major challenge is to sort out the technical aspect, as technical errors are common in virtual events and will also lead to audience losing the interest on what is been presented / discussed. The key for a successful Virtual Press Conference is a well-planned back-end technology management mechanism that takes control of the entire event. One could argue that Virtual Press Conferences lack face-to-face interaction and engagement, but PR Agencies in Sri Lanka at present deploy innovative measures such as video content, e-booths, polls and quiz campaigns to make the event more interesting and engaging as much as possible.

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