Most public relations work focuses on story placement and pitching, but events are an equally great way to get your brand and your message out there, and to engage with your target market and the media. Below are some things to know about scheduling your event and using it to its full potential.
Piggyback on Someone Else’s Event
The most effective way to get your brand noticed is to set yourself forth as an industry expert, and to share your expertise with your target audience. Inquire with brands, organizations, and trade publications that host important events, and keep track of dates and times. Decide which events sound worthwhile, and book yourself on particularly interesting sessions and panels. Call event organizers well ahead of time, and be ready with a relevant, interesting topic.
Start Your Own Event
Whether you hold an industry conference, cocktail party or networking luncheon, events can help you raise your brand’s visibility with your target market, journalists, potential/current customers and industry gurus. However, you don’t have to work alone. Find ways to partner with other relevant brands, asking for sponsorships, co-hosting and panel moderation. You’ll expose your brand to an entirely new audience, and you’ll align your brand with others that are greatly respected.
Call the Media
As soon as your event’s details are confirmed, share them on your social media accounts and relay them to local media outlets. As smaller details like partnerships and guest speakers are confirmed, share them via those channels. To engage your potential audience, create a Twitter hashtag and ask your social media followers which event parts they’re most excited to see. During your event, post Facebook updates, tweets and YouTube videos that showcase unique content. After your event is over, follow up with the media and give them photos, quotes, videos and interviews. If it can encourage them to add to a current story (or write a new one), send it over!
Network ’til it Hurts
When you’re attending or hosting an event, you should do so with an idea of who will be there. If important journalists are on the guest list, find out who they are and the subjects they cover–and get them to notice you. If industry experts and social media gurus are going to be there, be sure to talk to them. The more preparation you do, the easier it will be to show off your brand. Prepare some personalised products as well such as personalised t-shirt so people will become familiar with your brand.
Rehearse What You’ll Say
Even with all the tips given above, you’ll still need to get ready to tell your story. Before your event, get your team together and go over the key points you want your audience to know. Is there an important announcement coming up? Are there any new clients you can discuss (with permission), or there any industry trends worth discussing? Think about what others will discuss, and get in on the conversation.
When you’re hosting or attending an event, keep in mind that every part of it is a reflection upon your brand. Be a gracious guest or host, a polite but interesting panelist, and an avid networker. No matter where your event is held, use every public relations opportunity to tell others what your brand is all about.
About the Author:
Written by Gozde, a marketing lover who is currently getting ready to start her marketing masters.