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INDEPENDENT RESEARCH ON QUALITY OF EXHIBITORS PRESS RELEASES IN THE IMEX ONLINE SYSTEM
Only 14,24 %
of press releases from 899 published is newsworthy
55,84 % of press releases in the IMEX System is not suitable for publication

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The only criterion of good content is Does one event deserves attention for becoming a press release or even a virus on social networks. Media captures a wide range of news while we come from the fundamental question: What is interested in the widest range of readers and professional audience?

Editors are daily overwhelmed with press releases. Many press releases are rejected and they never come into the public. In the days when in Frankfurt was held The worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events – IMEX, we conducted a research on quality of press releases published on the IMEX Website. On the portal was from January 2014 until the beginning of IMEX published 899 press releases. Each of the messages were analyzed and ranked in detail. We evaluate, that it’s statistically very probable pattern since IMEX is the main global event for Meetings Industry and where large number of press releases were published.

 Every Editor and ultimately congress buyer sees in such a mass of messages only those that really stand out. We at the Editorial Board, as the main criteria took the basic principles that we follow in our work: Newsworthy = conciseness + accuracy + objectivity + clarity + self-sufficiency of the news. Since among press releases were also quite a lot of events we have added the criteria uniqueness or uncommonness, which greatly affects on publishing in the genre of events. This lies in the people who attend the event, in location and specialties which make it one of a kind.

All news were evaluated with marks from 1 to 5 where 1 represents pure PR which is not suitable for publication and 5 represents an event which is 100% newsworthy. After reading 899 press releases it has been shown that as many as 55,84% were pure PRs which were not suitable for media release. 21.02% of these messages are entirely unsuitable. 12,68% has a good story but it is not properly treated or supported by arguments. 22,14% offers the general contents which are not in direct connection with the Meetings industry.

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According to the structure, news with information on current events which are short-lived are dominating. Second in a row are events, among which we can find some good ones with high informative value. The rarest are the stories or durable narratives suitable for longer editorial pieces. From 899 published press releases we would miss 502 or 55.8%. This raises the question of what is wrong. It is surely a major mistake that exhibitors in press releases invite to IMEX. Is it not logical that we will meet them there if they are already published in the system for exhibitors?

Otherwise, mistakes and room for improvement can be grouped into the following categories:  

1. LENGTH OF PRESS RELEASES
Today’s acceptable length of the message is from 100 to 150 words. If you look at the published messages, at least 60% of them excess this standard.

2. MESSAGE STRUCTURE
Press releases should be clearly structured and composed of several keywords, attractive title, lead, core and a clear indication of sources. In this way, you will facilitate the work of journalists and other readers.

It is necessary to take into account that:
– TITLE is extremely important and is the first contact with the reader
– SUMMARY is all essential information about the campaign combined into a concise, striking and interesting paragraph.
– THE CONTENT should be clear and understandable, grammatically correct and readable.
– THE LAST PARAGRAPH contains information about the organization and additional information and web link related to contribution.

3. THE TITLE OF MESSAGE
A good title is short, interesting, clear and identifiable. Words which need to be avoided are best, amazing….The title is enhancer of your press release. 

4. THE CONTENT
Good content stories correspond to the above written formula for newsworthy. Concretely this means that we should publish presentations of the new congress services, the results of market research, credit reports and awards, reports on exceptional business results and new strategic partnerships. Most disturbing is the enumeration of congress halls and descriptions of the services they offer in the hotel rooms.

5. UEP – Unique Emotional Point
Very rare messages act on our emotions and heart which is the basic element of good congress story. Many events don’t have the potential to host large number of people, but they have tremendous emotional impact and are worthy of the attention of the general public. Think about the stories that emotionally hit the planners but not you as the storyteller.

6. SALES OFFERS ARE NOT press release
The worst mistake is certainly a sales offer release. There is plenty of them in the IMEX System. We could see offers in which exhibitors offer discounts and all-inclusive congress packages.

Despite all technologies that we have, the media still judge the credibility of the stories. Therefore, content marketing which include public relations and narrower media relations is extremely important. For exhibitors is crucial to prepare a press release with strong elements of story that will open the door to the congress customers hearts. Let me name a few prohibited words that congress customers should never use, but unfortunately we encounter them at every step and of course in the IMEX’s list of press releases:
…….. The Perfect Conference Destination
…….. A top destination for metings and events
…….. Your ultimate MICE destination

Title and press releases such as:
…….. A Profile
…….. Fact sheet 

Have otherwise great practical value, but only in the second stage when provider have managed to address us through a good story. Data, slogans and numbers are not enough unless they are changed into a story.

Some very good stories can also be found in the IMEX System. They all have in common that the storytellers have done their homework and they started to carefully listen meeting planners.

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