EVENT PLANNING FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS
Event planning with the media is vital if you want to achieve positive publicity and have an effective public relations strategy that achieves real ROI. Building brand awareness and engaging with the public is almost impossible without them.
Since public relations and event planning can’t be taught in a ‘how-to’ book, our Account Manager at Adoni Media, Jess, has put together her key public relations tips and tricks for planning an event the media will have no choice but to attend.
“When you watch the news, you’ll notice it’s a mix of expert comment, visually interesting video footage, and a journalist report of what’s occurred – these are the key ingredients you’ll need for a successful public relations event,” said Jess.
Make sure it’s newsworthy
One of the main goals of a public relations event is to invite the media and get some publicity behind it. In order to do this, it’s vital that you’ve got an interesting and newsworthy story behind your event that a journalist would be interested in.
This will require some research and you’ll also need to think about who the journalist is you’re contacting, what publication they work for and who their audience is.
You’ll also need to be prepared to pitch it to media and hopefully gain some media coverage.
“If you want media to attend your event you need to make sure what you’re organising is ‘of note’. Journalists are always interested in stories that involve conflict, something new, are significant to their audience, communicated by prominent spokespeople, and/or have an emotive human-interest angle that will tug at the heart-strings,” said Jess.
“These principles are universal across all PR events (from product promotion to business launches) and once you’ve made sure your event is something the media would attend then you can launch into organising the five W’s (Who? What? Where? When? And why?).”
Choosing spokespeople and community experts
“If you’re planning on seeing your story on the nightly news or in the paper, then you’ll need key spokespeople (yourself included). Like I mentioned earlier, journalists will be interested in hearing from someone prominent in the community or the state. This could be a doctor, psychologist, local MP, or expert in their field.”
Many clients who work with Adoni Media are now known local experts in their field and the media often calls on them for comment on relevant and current issues. Experts, opinion leaders, and celebrities are always a good choice, as journalists require people who can share knowledge, expertise, or be leveraged as great headliners.
Adoni Media recently gained TV, radio and print coverage for Place Real Estates’ annual conference based on their guest speakers: Meriton founder Harry Triguboff and demographer Bernard Salt.
Making the most of visual opportunities
“Visuals are a big part of the media and many journalists require promotional photos or videos that can be published alongside the story. So, when you’re organising your event, think of the possible visuals you can offer to journalists,” said Jess.
They can be of your guest speakers, your audience members and even the room itself, just make sure they’re interesting and relevant.
A handy tip is to hire a professional photographer or delegate someone to take photos and videos during the event. This also means any footage or photographs you have can be used as promotion for next year’s event – it’s all about thinking towards the future.
“If you invite the local paper to your event, they will bring a snapper (photographer) to take pictures for the piece, however, it’s always a good idea to have your own for online and other print media.”
Managing the event’s social media
Social media has become integrated into everyday life, so it makes sense to add social media management to your public relations to-do list.
The best way to utilise social media as event promotion is to create a hashtag. It’s important once you create your event’s hashtag, you use it often and keep it consistent.
During the event, use company social media accounts to update content or share live videos so your audience is present – even if they’re not in the room.
“If you can have influencers and celebrities posting from your event and using your hashtag it can do amazing things for your brand,” said Jess.
Media follow up
Follow up with the media after the event and make sure they have everything they need to publish the story including key statistics, names and titles of spokespeople, images, additional video footage.
Some industry publications can be a little slower to publish news, so make sure you keep in touch with them for a week or more post event.