An event is a great showcase for a company to show off their product, services and innovations, live and in front of the press or special guests (suppliers, future investors, customers or employees). But the PR’s role begins long before the event starts. It pays to know how to do PR for an event, and to bear in mind that you’ll need to design pre-, during and post-event strategies if the goal is to make the most of it in the media.
A well-planned public relations strategy will be key to achieving the desired exposure in the media that effectively reaches your target audience. There is no quick recipe for success, but there are a few items that shouldn’t be overlooked. Check out a few basic tips on how to do PR for an event and avoid rookie errors:
1. Prepare yourself for the pre-event
Take the time to study the event’s subject matter and make sure that you are familiar with the main aspects. You don’t have to become an expert like your spokesperson, but you may be called on to answer some general questions while speaking to the media. Write an appealing press pitch demonstrating the relevance of the event and providing key information for the press, such as the name, date and times. If the event is tied to a special date, this may also be relevant to mention.
2. Spend some time thinking about the press kit
On the day of the event, it’s worth presenting attendee journalists with a press kit. There is no formula for a press kit, but it usually includes a press release and/or a folder with information about the speakers, the products and/or brands presented at the event.
Discuss with your clients the possibility of including not just the press release or information folder in the press kit, but also a cool gift to give to the journalists. This doesn’t need to be expensive, but should remind them of the event and the client. For example, if you are taking part in an event for a new brand of dog food, a branded stuffed animal may fit the bill. You may also consider giving a gift that is innovative and can be used on a day-to-day basis – the more journalists see your branded gift, the more they will be reminded of the client.
You can also include a pen drive with images of the brand, people and products featured at the event, for the journalist to use in their story. The sky is the limit!
3. Don’t forget to keep track of the attendees
Although some might think that this tip is obvious, many forget to pay attention to this detail on the day of the event. Make sure to keep track of attendees because around 20% to 50% of journalists who confirm their presence don’t show up at the last minute.
A good tip is to either leave an attendee list with the host of the event at the door, or stay there yourself – with or without your colleagues – to welcome everyone who arrives. This way, not only will you have the name and publication of everyone who attends, but after the event you’ll know for sure who to contact about coverage.
4. Make the journalists feel welcome
Interact with the media in a thoughtful way, to generate greater interest in whatever the company wants to publicize. Make the event unforgettable for the journalists that attend it. Spend some time with each of them, so as to clear up any doubts they may have.
5. Don’t forget about social media impact
Good event PR goes beyond media relations. Share on social networks in real time, and boost promotion for the event. It also pays to establish a hashtag, communicated in advance to attendees, so everyone can share their experience online, and you can make the most of the opportunity.
6. The PR’s work doesn’t stop when the party ends
When considering how to do PR for an event, it is important to plan the pre- and post-event, ensuring both the quantity and quality of media coverage. After the event you should continue to monitor its repercussions, keep track of the coverage it generates and answer all requests from journalists who attended and, if possible, who received your press release.
In conclusion, noticing that, more and more, the events are playing a key role in the relationship with the media. It is necessary that our events provide added value and us, as pr agents, become able to, not only present what the client wants to present, but also make the whole experience unforgettable, being there for the journalists and solving their needs before, during and after the party or presentation.
Events are also useful for communicating news that would not otherwise be interesting, and applying public relations at an event is key.
Answering the question ‘how to do pr for an event?’: the main role of pr agents is to maximize its impact, capitalizing, commercially or institutionally, this relationship action. The events become, in this way, a strategic and essential tool in the communication of the company.
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