How to plan events for public relations

11 October, 2018     Posted in: Public Relations

Events can be an extremely useful public relations tool for organisations. They can be handy for building brand awareness, launching products and engaging with the public.

Public relations and event planning go well together and can aid in achieving a range of results for businesses.

A public relations book can’t fully describe what goes into event planning.  First-hand experience is key so, let’s delve into a few tips that can help your event become successful.

Public relations event planning tips

Sometimes public relations events can be costly and take a long time to develop and execute. However, they can elevate and take your business to the next level.

  1. Planning the event

The first thing you should start with when planning an event is the basics – who, what, where, when and why.

You want to gain interest for the event, so think ahead about who you want to attend, what it’s for, where the best place is for the event, when it should be held, what the name should be, how it fits in with your brand and how much it should cost to attend.

  1. Grabbing the media’s attention

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 then be prepared to pitch it to media and hopefully gain some media coverage.

  1. Choosing guest speakers or emcees

If you’re planning an event which requires a host, emcee or even a few guest speakers, you’ll need to consider if they can be part of your pitch to the media.

Usually experts, opinion leaders or celebrities are the best choices, 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.

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 that you can offer to journalists.

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 during the event. This means any footage or photographs you manage to take can be used as promotion for next year’s event – it’s all about thinking towards the future.

  1. 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 that once you create your event’s hashtag, you use it often and keep it consistent. This is the best way that the hashtag can spread and be used by other people.

If your organisation has the resources available, creating a social media strategy can help your event gain popularity and credibility.

  1. Tracking your event

Remember to track your event – in particular how many people are expected to attend and which news outlets have said will come.

This will help you know what to expect and will encourage you to consider if you need to do anything else to generate media interest.

Types of events

There are many types of public relations events. Some of these include:

Speaking events: As an owner, spokesperson or expert, people are often want to hear what you have to say or any advice you might be able to give. Speaking at galas, panels or even charity functions can help promote your brand and business. You can also utilise these events to network and gain valuable contacts with the media as well as other business owners. The public will also value your speaking appearance and it will make you and your organisation seem more credible.

Media calls:  Events aren’t necessarily large galas or panels – they can be as simple as a media call. Media calls are an essential part of PR as they help bring an organisation, event or individual to the media’s attention. Essentially, media calls are used to gather all interviewees, visual elements and journalists in one spot so media can quickly and easily get the story you have pitched.

Product launches: Public relations can help with any sort of product promotion. Product launches especially can generate media for your business, as there’s something new and interesting being unveiled to the public. That being said, think outside of the box and find a unique way to reveal your product, as this will entice the media further. Contests and giveaways can also be used in product launches to create positive media for your organisation, as they can be spread through social media and get the public involved.