To boost your odds of having a reporter there, have free food. Journalists like free food. No really, they like free food.
There is nothing more journalists like when attending a press junket, dinner, speech or conference than free food. It soothes the contempt of the journalist who has to be in the Mississippi ballroom of the local Radisson on a Thursday night missing “30 Rock,” to listen to a speaker of a local organization ramble on about “community engagement” or “stakeholders” or any other meaningless phrase.
If a journalist is handed a press release about a planned speech to be given by the candidate of House District 52 (hypothetically) and the release says dinner/lunch/brunch/snacks/m&m’s found in a couch will be served, than the keyboard monkey journalist is more apt to show up and between bites of rubber chicken and watered-down iced tea might take down a few quotes and comments. Better yet, organizers should just provide a copy of the prepared speech as to not interrupt journalist’s free meal.
Note, it’s probably best not to hold off serving food until after the speech since the reporter probably skipped his/her regular meal of soup in a can to attend the event in the hopes of scoring some free food.