Every event can benefit from the use of an effective PR strategy. Public Relations can help you extend the profile of your event and the organisers as well as increase registrations or sales. So, how do you go about using PR for an event?
Organising an event is a great way to showcase your brand and connect with your audiences. It’s important getting people to show up and maximise the PR opportunity.
Here are six tips for developing a PR and marketing strategy that you can apply to any event.
- Get the storytelling correct
Focus on the story in your event. Is it a first-time event? Is it exclusive, new and interesting? Do you have any unusual sponsors, exhibitors or speakers? Are there any international speakers? 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.
If you’re hosting a conference, you may have speakers who are experts in their field. You can use them, to your advantage, for you can pitch them to media for interviews. When journalists are writing stories, they want to talk to someone who is a proven expert or thought leader in their field.
Also ensure that you get great photos, which tell stories. Images help your audience understand and relate to your event. You will use the images across all of your marketing and PR material, which you can send to journalists. Apart from still pictures, you can do videos, too, which can be given to media and uploaded online.
- Write a press release
Journalists need to receive information about your event, and a press release is the best way to do that. In the release add images, where and when the event is being held, and any other details.
When it’s local news, you can concentrate on local talent; local papers love writing about the new talent from their area. Research the details of the local newspapers, magazines and even radio stations and then, send the media release and images to the editors. If the idea is interesting enough, there may be a good chance that they may run a feature too.
- Get your event into ‘listings’
Newspapers and event sites have a ‘listings’ section, and they are always on a watchout for interesting events to put in their ‘What’s on’ sections. Do your research and provide information about your event: why, what, when, where, who are guests of honour, and add a short description, with a photograph. This will create an impact and boost the reach of your event.
It’s critical to find media that relate to your event type, so research the media outlets that will write about the event. For example, if your event is on IT, then look up the journalists that specialise in IT and send them the release (and invite them!).
- Write articles around the event
It would be a good idea to think about telling some extra stories, related to your event. Meaning, you can write articles for publications around the event. For instance, if the event is a product launch, it could be a piece on the latest trends in brand launches.
- Use social media
Everyone chooses to put the spotlight on social media, today. Yes social media is here to stay. It is perfect to promote an event. On Facebook, create a page and share your event information multiple times on your page and in niche pages and groups. Also, create an event on Facebook, invite your friends and ask them to share it. Instagram is perfect for events as it is pictorially-based. Not to miss out on Pinterest.
Use hashtags effectively, and direct message influencers. Also, follow other Instagrammers that are in your niche, and chances are, many will follow you back. Hashtags bring together like-minded people on Twitter. You should create one for your event, and use it in the lead-up, as well as throughout the event. Make sure it is something simple and relates to the event. Before and during your event, publicise your hashtag to encourage as many people as possible to follow the stream. Use it constantly while tweeting throughout the event. You can organise tweetchats too. Get social. Another good idea would be to have influencers take photos and share them on social media.
- Target bloggers
Besides targetting traditional media and inviting journalists to your event, you could also reach out to bloggers as they can be very influential. Bloggers will usually have more time to spend at your event. Bloggers usually have a strong social media presence as well. They can be encouraged to tweet and post on Facebook about your event, as well as write a blog about it!