A mainstay of a well-rounded public relations campaign is the special event. Be it a blogger showcase for a new technology device or a reception to mark a milestone anniversary, in capable PR agency hands, an event must be special to attract the right media and score coverage. Here are six smart ways to make your next PR event a smashing success.
Have a real raison d’etre. There are many good excuses to throw a party, but make yours meaningful for media. Give them a reason to pick your event over the myriad other invites they receive. This could mean a hot product unveiling, a compelling special guest, a cool location. Make the invitation a standout as well.
Invite media who matter, but don’t be a snob. We are past the time when the top tier outlets were the only ones who count. Be democratic with your invites – reach out to industry bloggers, influencers and radio journalists. It can also be a good idea to open the event to a select number of preferred customers and fans. Sometimes what “makes” an event is an enthusiastic crowd that is genuinely enjoying themselves and can speak authentically about the brand.
When feasible, partner with the right media outlet. Working with a credible media partner has many benefits, but mainly it will instantly help to reach the right people, generate buzz within the industry and drive attendance. Use the opportunity to tap into their resources, readers, and social contacts. A word of caution, however; the media partner will likely demand exclusivity, so it’s best considered as a trade-off for the guarantee of coverage.
Make it easy to attend. Can you “uber” your top guests if necessary? Is the location central and simple to find? Will weather impact (logo umbrellas for everyone!) Be sure to check those details in advance and wherever a guest throws you a stumbling block to attend, solve it for him!
Nail down the logistics. Horror stories abound for those who have left anything to chance. Create a checklist at the beginning and stay on top of it. Assign your team specific responsibilities before, during and after the event. Keep the venue staff and your client well informed about your plans and your progress. And of course there’s an (several) apps for this! Try Party/Event Planner for one.
Review past events to plan properly. Presumably you and your agency brethren are event veterans with many a “post-mortem” to review for possible pitfalls. If you haven’t been appraising your events as you go, start now!