The future is hybrid - press conferences in times of Corona

April 22, 2022
Sarah Hering
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The future is hybrid - a press conference in times of Corona

Events in times of Corona: two years without spectators, without guests, without presence. Two years with almost no face-to-face contact between customers and journalists - how then can good PR work succeed? How can one continue to create awareness in the media and attract attention in the press landscape? How does PR work take place outside of a small tile on the screen during remote work at home? AND: How is PR perceived by customers and how can a feeling of security be conveyed in these times?

Mathias Klüver, Account Director at monoceros PR, was live on-site in Göttingen at the Soft Opening of the Life Science Factory - a hybrid opening event and press conference which reports his impressions on.

Mathias, how does it feel to be back on-site with a client at an event, especially in times of the pandemic?

First of all, it felt good to finally be on site again. It was great to be among people, to see and experience the contacts and journalists live and to see that the work in preparation had borne fruit. Also, it was definitely a different feeling compared to events where I have represented monoceros before the restrictions due to the pandemic. We used to take it for granted that these events would take place, that journalists would come and that there would be reports afterwards. However, at the event in Göttingen, there was a real sense of joy and relief, both on the part of customers and journalists - and also on my part.

How important is it to be present despite the current situation?

I travelled from the office in Essen to Göttingen for the Soft Opening of the Life Science Factory, to support the press conference and, of course, to see the Life Science Factory live. Our claim is to always be at our customers' side. Especially since live events have recently developed into online events. More than ever it is necessary to help ensure that the press conference becomes a success. This is where intensive preparation and coordination pay off. In addition, "taking care of things" is a very big issue. Flexibility and spontaneity are the keywords here - but it is possible thanks to the small-scale work in advance. In Göttingen, for example, we spontaneously organized a guided tour of laboratories for the local press and were thus able to identify two topics with the lab manager, which met with a positive response from the local media and even the trade press.

How did the hybrid press conference take place exactly?

We invited the journalists in person in the traditional way. From the very beginning, they had the chance of being on-site or to participate via 

live stream to join the event. Of course, the regional press did not miss the chance to be there in person, whereas many trade journalists, in particular, took advantage of the opportunity to participate digitally. 

To give everyone the opportunity to ask questions, we collected questions in advance. This way all the questions were answered by the Sartorius management and Executive Board during the press conference. With more than 700 participants, "shout-outs" would probably have gone beyond the scope. 

In addition, of course, a photographer was hired to share pictures with the journalists immediately after the event. So they could quickly start with their reporting.

Svenja Hodel, Communication Manager of Life Science Factory, summarizes the Soft Opening Event: "For us, the hybrid format offered enormous opportunities to increase our coverage. In addition to the local press, it allowed journalists from all over Germany to be present. I can imagine very well that we will continue to map press events in this way."

About us

monoceros is a strategic communications agency based in Berlin. We develop customized, target-oriented PR campaigns for digital disrupters, startups and tech giants. The basis for our outstanding results: Over ten years of PR experience on the corporate and agency side and the motivation to establish an agency with the highest standards. On our monoceros blog we regularly highlight essential topics of our PR work and report on the latest developments from the digital economy.

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