I recently had an interesting conversation with some colleagues regarding the effectiveness and appropriateness of giving the media "gifts".
We were strategizing hosting a Press Conference for our client at an upcoming trade show and someone suggested providing a gift or memento to the journalists. A lively debate then ensued among several people in the brainstorming session as to whether providing editors with a gift was "necessary", "worthwhile", "expected", "old school", "a nuisance" or a "brilliant idea".
After spending way more time than necessary arguing the pros and cons, it was decided that giving the media a "gift" or "memento" for attending the Press Conference was a good idea - if it met the following criteria:
· Reinforced the messaging we were trying to convey at the Press Conference
· Would be truly memorable and something journalists would use and/or appreciate well after the event was over
· Was really "cool"; had to be either very classy or very kitchy - nothing in between
· Something they or their family and friends would want to use
· Easy to carry in a back pack or purse and could get through airport security
· Reasonably priced
A second brainstorming then ensued to select the gift and what we finally came up with was prefect for the Press Conference. The new technology our client was introducing at the trade show helped engineers significantly expand the "Sweet Spot" for achieving maximum energy efficiency within design specifications. To communicate this expanded sweet spot concept, an ad was created that showed an oversized golf club head hitting a golf ball.
Therefore, the gift we chose was a hand-made, Belgian dark-chocolate golf club head hitting a white chocolate golf ball. We found a Belgian chocolatier who produced this one-of-a-kind item in an elegant clear plastic box with his certified Belgian chocolate seal prominently displayed. We also inserted a card that had the client's logo and the "Sweet Spot" slogan printed on it.
The media and the client loved it. It met all the criteria listed above, and getting it through airport security was a non-issue as most of the journalists said they would eat it before leaving the Show.
We have created a variety of media "gifts" over the years ranging from iPads to baseball hats with built-in LED lights. What are some of the gifts you have successfully used with media?