You may not realize it, but having a live event is an excellent PR opportunity. The event itself is usually newsworthy. If you think it isn’t, then make it so!
Make the most of this opportunity by planning your PR efforts for every stage of your event, as you can see below:
- Send out a press release announcing the event. Focus on what results your event will have, and how the public will benefit.
- Send media pitches to offer interviews with your event’s speakers or presenters. This is especially effective if you have a renowned author, personality or some other kind of celebrity coming to the event.
- Invite journalists to cover your event. This may be most appropriate for journalists in magazines or journals that reach the same audience as your event participants. Don’t expect the media to stay for your whole event, however. Identify key points in your event that would be most interesting, such as keynote speeches.
During the Event
- Open sessions to the media. Depending on your topic and event design, you can accommodate journalists in certain sessions of your event. These should be the most interesting ones, such as when a notable speaker will make a presentation, or when there will be panel discussion on a hot topic.
- Set up a media center. Make your event media-friendly by having a place exclusively for them. Provide a computer, WiFi, fax machine, and coffee to journalists who may need them.
- Organize a press conference. If you have a very important speaker at your event, or newsworthy data to present, consider organizing a press conference.
- Interview participants before they leave. Videotape them and get their testimonials on what they liked about the event, how it has benefited them, and what they will do differently as a result of the event.
- Send out a press release summarizing the outcomes of the event. Quote important speakers, and include testimonials and photographs.
As you can see, you have many ways to get publicity from an event. From the time leading up to the event, to immediately afterwards, you can find opportunities to get PR.
The key is to include PR when planning and executing your event. Don’t make it an after-thought. Hire a photographer and videographer to document the event, so you can provide audio-visual materials to journalists. Sometimes journalists plan to cover your event, but through circumstances beyond their control, they miss it. In this case, be ready to provide what they need so they can still report on your event.
And as you plan your event, make a list of all the newsworthy angles of your event. This could include your event speakers, the topics, the participants, and, of course, the outcomes. And, knowing you want media coverage, you’re also more likely to include newsworthy activities in your event.
How do you get publicity for your event? Share your experiences or questions in the comments below.
Image from Yuri Arcurs Website
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies.
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