How To Make Media Work For You


SHOT Show season is upon us, and whether you’re attending to exhibit or not, the time is ripe for the introduction of new products. All media eyes will be scanning the webz, emails and the event itself to find the latest, greatest and most creative.

Sitting on the other side of the promotional desk, as the target of new stuff promotion, I thought it might be helpful to share some best practices I’ve seen.

Image: Sensvector / Adobe Stock

Spam Is Welcome!

As someone who commits “journalism” for a living, I want to hear what you have to share. My top objective for SHOT is to find every new product or service offering I can. That’s what fills the magazine, website and newsletters with what readers want. We’re on the same side here. Media wants content, and companies want to get the word out.

So, consider sending pre-SHOT emails to people like me with a quick heads up about what you’ll have at the show or, if you won’t be there, what’s new. I want to stop by every booth that has new stuff relevant to our readers!

To Meet, Or Not To Meet?

Scheduled meetings are great but impossible on a large scale. With 2,500 exhibitors at SHOT and a meeting taking between half an hour to an hour, to navigate across the floor, find the right people, meet and then navigate to the next spot, one might squeeze in maybe 10 or 15 meetings a day at the high end. If SHOT went on for 166 days, the media meetings strategy would work great. But it’s three and a half days, so contingency plans are in order.

Some companies plan for “drop by” traffic by equipping the booth team with a media response plan. “Here are our top new products,” and if the media contact is in a meeting or not available for an impromptu introduction, have a stack of their business cards for easy post-show follow-up. Meetings are ideal, but handling unscheduled walk-up visits is a necessary part of the show.

Media Email List

SHOT media registrants get thousands of consumer-targeted emails from companies that have the SHOT Show email list: “We’re having a 10% off sale next Tuesday,” and the like. As much as we want to help each other, there’s nothing we can do with this type of information, and too much of it causes the important stuff to get buried.

A best practice is to create a “media-only” email list. Don’t add media folks to your standard consumer list. Prepare with something as simple as a separate fishbowl for media cards or, ideally, a way to subscribe on the spot. I *want* to subscribe to your media list!

Once you have the list, drop an informal email to the media list as needed to keep them informed. Nothing fancy — just a quick note on what’s new. I suspect I speak for most media types that receiving media-relevant emails is the surest way for people like me to help you share your news.

Now it’s your turn. What can we do to make your life easier and help you get the word out? Let me know anytime at

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