By Debbie Bradley, Group Account Director
- Include PR in the event planning
Make sure PR is considered from the very beginning or your event planning, as part of the strategy and not after the themes, speakers and sessions have been confirmed.
PR people will be thinking about: what types of talent and speakers will attract media interest, who will be your spokespeople and which of your influencers have good social media audiences.
It is more likely to get PR success and media engagement if you involve these people in your planning.
- Be story focused – not promotional focused
To attract media and gain coverage of your event you have to be newsworthy: ‘ticket sales open’, ‘website live’, ‘early bird special finishing’ are promotional and marketing messages.
Find the story in your event.
Is it a new event a first-ever? Is it exclusive? Do you have any unusual sponsors, exhibitors or speakers? Are there any international speakers – is anything they are doing new or interesting? Is there a local story for local news? Are your sponsors launching any new innovative products?
Utilise speakers, sessions, exhibitors, sponsors, innovations and keynote topics as much as possible for your media stories.
- Invite media to attend
If you are planning on running your event annually, or your objectives are more than just getting ‘bums on seats’ the asking media to attend will can create post-event coverage for your brand or organisation.
Keep some passes free for media to attend, source a list of your top media people and send them a personalised invite to attend the event. Make sure when you invite media you ‘pitch-in’ the reason for them to attend – maybe a certain session that might be of interest to their audience or a specific talent that they would be interested in interviewing.
And, if they yes to attend your event allocate a person on-site to look after your media – this will assist your organisation in building long-term relationships and securing coverage again and again.
- Integrate your PR message
Consistency is key with the promotion of any event – so make sure all your PR and promotional messages integrate across your media, website, social media, email marketing and partner marketing.
If you are pushing a consistent messages across many channels in a timely way it will be a powerful message.
- Spread the word via your sponsors, exhibitors and speakers
As part of any PR campaign an important element of sharing and promoting the event is the key stakeholders who are invested themselves, re: your sponsors, exhibitors and speakers/talent.
On the lead up to the event contact all of your sponsors, exhibitors and speakers and ask them to spread the word about the event. Provide them with pre-written social content, email news content and visual banners and artwork that they can share across their digital marketing.
Finally, create a hashtag for your event – social share of voice is also Public Relations. Once you’ve decided on a unique hashtag for your event – display it on all your collateral, across your digital marketing and of course any physical promotional items at your event.
What to learn more?
Zadro conduct Public Relations for all kinds of business events across Australia. Contact Debbie Bradley for a consultation.
Read a related post by Debbie: How to create an effective PR strategy