At MBA, our team members have been planning, strategizing and attending CES for 15 consecutive years. With our agency’s 100% focus on PR for consumer tech clients, every one of our team members is in CES mode from October through January. As the show draws closer, we’ve put together expert advice from our team members on how to succeed at earning media attention during CES 2018.

 

Planning & Ideation (August – October)

 

Find a story that will break through the clutter

Unless you’re unveiling a brand-new product or an extremely unique offering, you’re going to need to spend considerable time thinking outside of the box. Think about it this way; Media members get hundreds of new product pitches in their inbox daily, and even more during CES week. While you may feel your story is ground-breaking, so does everybody else. You’ll need to craft a truly compelling story that resonates will the media audience you’re looking to engage and serve it to them on a silver platter.

 

Consider an angle that will speak to the end user

Beyond thinking through the media to connect with, it’ll be similarly important to consider the audiences to whom those media are looking to reach and engage. Explore and think through the varying use cases the end-customer can come to expect and where they can see the brand or product intersecting in their daily life. This approach is likely to lead to a more engaging interaction with the media, more in-depth quality coverage and the start of a mutually valuable relationship between your brand and the media.

 

Finalize plans to attend a media preview event/s

If you’re launching a new product, make plans to attend either Pepcom or Unveiled (or both). This is when and where you’ll meet with the bulk of media attendees. CES is huge, so chances of getting a journalist to come by your booth during the show is much smaller than it is to get them to come by your table at one of the media preview events. These events will sell out quickly, so it’s important to finalize attendance plans as soon as possible. Here is more information for CES Unveiled and Pepcom.

 

Press Messaging & Initial Outreach (October – November)

 

Finalize your press messaging & assets

Ensure all press messaging and assets are solidified by Thanksgiving, as after the holiday journalists begin to set their sights on CES. If you have your launch strategy, press messaging, and photo/video assets buttoned up, you’ll be ahead of the game and top of mind as journalists consider new products for awards, and brands to visit on the show floor.

 

Setup media meetings & booth stop-bys

Begin reaching out for meetings as soon as the media list is released in November. If you wait until December, you’re far behind and media members may be booked out at this point. Also, keep flexibility in mind where meeting times are concerned, as most journalists prefer to offer a window of time rather than a specific time.

 

Pre-Launch & Scheduling (December)

 

Pre-launch your product

Due to CES overlapping with the holiday season and many other brands launching products at the show, giving media a heads-up in advance is crucial. This preview offers journalists the opportunity to prepare their stories in advance, and increases the likelihood that your launch will be covered. This outreach should start the first week of December.

 

Finalize your CES day-by-day schedule

Log all media and partner meetings in one schedule, accessible to everyone who will be attending the show. Make sure you’re all aligned so you have resources available on those days and times.

 

Showtime (January)

 

Make the most of your time with media on the show floor

Media are unlikely to commit to more than a quick pit stop at your booth or preview event, so make the most of your time. Focus on the key differentiators of your product, and the need-state in the market. Provide a USB or digital link with the follow-up press materials and assets. Make sure all booth representatives speaking with media are able to explain the products in-depth and answer questions.

 

Be proactive about pulling media into your booth during the show

In order to attract the most media to your booth, be sure to assign someone who is proactively picking them from the crowd to engage with. You’ll want to pay attention to media badges, as journalists often send their photographers and videographers in their stead, who are similarly important to try and pull over.

 

Have two spokespeople ready to meet and go on camera

It’s a good idea to pre-assign at least two people who are prepared for this on-camera representation, as they will need to be properly media trained. This means knowing what to say AND what not to say.  You’ll also want a product engineer or expert on hand if your product is highly technical or complex.

 

Build relationships after the show

The show is just the beginning. It’s important to use CES as a conversation starter for long-term, meaningful relationships with media at publications that align well with your brand and target audience. Follow-up about a week after the show with a short message letting them know it was a pleasure meeting with them and you look forward to working together in the future.

 

Read more advice from MBA’s experienced team members in Top 10 Tips for a Successful Press Launch at CES.

 

If you’re looking for media experts to help you at this year’s CES, we’re here to guide you through it. With our exclusive focus on consumer tech, we’ve launched hundreds of products at CES over the past 15 years. Contact bizdev@maxborgesagency.com to talk about signing up with us for a CES project.