News and Trends

Albrecht: So you want to host a presidential event…

This past spring I had the honor of moderating the “Political Reporters Media Panel” at the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s 2015 Marketing & Media Panel.

The goal of the conference was to help the Partnership’s members learn how to better communicate their brand to customers and stakeholders, interact with local and national media, and get their questions answered.

The back-and-forth was really informative for attendees, who heard my perspective from a campaign side, and the media’s perspective on what they’re looking for at political events.

Businesses and organizations should keep these three things in mind when looking to host a presidential candidate event:

  1. Does your space look like Iowa?: New and remodeled ballrooms are nice, but if the visual backdrop shows up on TV looking like a room that could be in Cleveland, Phoenix or anywhere else, why are we even in Iowa? Businesses should know their surroundings and recommend an outdoor shot, or have pictures and items on the walls to set them apart.
  2. Is there a news angle?: If your corporation is in the supply chain by constructing energy-efficient engines that are reducing the carbon footprint, a candidate might take the opportunity to highlight your work as a part of his or her energy plan.
  3. Vet yourself before you wreck yourself: Make sure you don’t become a liability to the candidate you’re hoping to host. Campaigns will want to know if you offer health care to your employees. They’ll also check your owner’s Facebook feed to avoid any potentially unwanted and embarrassing news by associated themselves with your organization. Are your taxes fully paid? Yep — they’ll look into that too. In the non-stop commotion that is campaign coverage, everyone is looking for a new angle, so make sure you don’t overlook anything that might trigger a damaging story for your brand.

If you’re able to navigate these three items, there is a good shot your business or organization will be able to host an event, and who knows — you could even end up in national news stories. Just make sure it’s for the reasons you want.

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