Planning an event to promote your business or new product but not sure if people are aware of it? Even if you spend a significant amount of money on the event itself – an amazing venue, food, drinks, music, etc. for attendees to enjoy – without proper promotion, no one knows what you have to offer. Effective PR plays an important role and can make the difference between a successful, well-attended event or a complete flop.
The first step in planning public relations for your upcoming event is to do plenty of research to make sure you know who you’re targeting and the best way to reach them. Even if you’re on a tight budget, there are many inexpensive or even free ways to promote your event.
Leading up to your event, you want to make sure that you’re showcasing your company in the best light to the general public. Here are just a couple of ways to make sure you’re checking everything off your PR checklist:
Establish Good Media Relations
Whether it’s sending personalized pitches, responding to media requests, or getting to know writers and journalists to help your media pitches stand out, developing relationships with media contacts is imperative. Ideally, this starts long before your event as writers and editors gain your trust over time and look to you to be a reliable source long before pitch them your event.
Hire a Publicist or a PR Specialist
A dedicated public relations professional is essential to the success of your event. In addition to setting up vendors, sending pitches, building relationships with the media and creating media kits, this person will ensure everything is in order leading up to the event.
Get Timing Right
Plan your event so that the timing is ideal for both the media and attendees. Ensure that your potential date is not on a holiday or an important event that may coincide with it.
Find a Great Angle
Humans crave connection, so finding an angle for your event is a great way to increase interest. Find out how you can use this information to tell a story relevant to the audience you’re pitching to. If there will be any VIPs or celebrities attending, you may also want to include their names in your pitch.
We used this with our clients Steak48 and The HEARTest Yard to promote the Ungala, a fundraiser which had a compelling angle of benefitting kids with heart disease, as well as celebrities including former Panthers tight end Greg Olsen.
Create an Engaging Media Kit
A media kit helps you consolidate the information you want to share. A media kit is a prepackaged set of marketing materials that can be used to promote your event. Ensure your media kit highlights your event/company by using your creativity. Press releases, company information, gifts to recipients and a description of your event should be included.
The media kits we create each year for the Southern Christmas Show, Charlotte Home & Remodeling Show and Greater Charlotte Home & Landscape Show always include a mix of items from vendors that pique the interest of journalists, as well as detailed information about the show, which helps them write their story.
Use Social Media for Event Promotion
When you’re finished creating your event assets, share them on social media. Another effective way to get your event out is to tap into local influencers who would be interested in the event themselves. In addition, social media coverage after the event is just as important, especially if the event is recurring.
For Wednesday Night Live, a weekly event sponsored by five different Charlotte museums, we used Facebook events to promote the events ahead of time, as well as Instagram reels and stories to capture and share live footage of the events.
Hire a Photographer/Videographer
Running a successful event is only a fraction of things needed to take full advantage of good PR for your event. Hiring a photographer and videographer is a great way to use for proof for future event pitches, post event recaps and more.
If you need help spreading the word about your next event, contact us for more information about our PR services!