No matter the size of your event, an effective public relations strategy is always a smart move when organizing an event. Marketing and public relations are quite similar, but there are some significant differences when it comes to a corporate event. The best public relations planning is rooted in strategy. A calculated approach that is based on strategic business outcomes will add substantial value, and the publicity results are likely to be more on-target than a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach. At its core, marketing works to tell a story and sell your company’s products or services. Meanwhile, public relations strive to develop and maintain relationships with consumers, news outlets, and other channels to build a positive reputation.
PR plays a big role in event planning, and according to the Society for Marketing Professional Services there are six main aspects to ensure success:
1. Lay it all out. A thorough PR plan is a successful PR plan.
A thorough plan leads to successful results because every situation has been detailed exhaustively. The same thing can be said about a plan that isn’t as thought through—there become possibilities of things going wrong with absolutely no plans as to how to fix something when it arises. This is why planning is imperative.
A great way to create a successful public relations plan is to tell people about your event with targeted messages across numerous channels. Create a schedule, including deadlines and deliverables, for your entire team and make sure everyone knows their role.
2. Brand messaging.
Social networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, are tremendous outlets for distributing event teasers and growing your guest list. Meanwhile, a media advisory can help fuel additional interest and grab the attention of the press. Everything you do to get your brand noticed should be focused on addressing the wants and needs of your target audience.
You obviously want the media to buy into your business, but your message should be primarily aimed at the potential customers in the audience, so always keep this at the forefront of your communications.
3. Monitor progress.
Any detailed PR plan should include weekly status reports that indicate what areas are lacking in presence and which areas are strong on their own. If there is limited time to bolster the weaker areas, simply focus on the event itself. Once the event comes to a close, put together a post-event debrief to target your strengths and weaknesses for next time. Take it a step further by brainstorming with your team members about possible improvements for future events.
4. Target audience.
Brand messaging and a target audience go hand in hand. You want your brand to attract buyers, and even further, you are marketing to target a specific buyer. The press is a powerful tool in event PR. Word of mouth is no longer king when it comes to getting attention. Instead, the press and social media have replaced it regarding how easily people are able to acquire information.
It may seem appealing to promote your event to the biggest publications out there, but those efforts could fall on deaf ears. Instead, research specialized publications that are relevant to your company’s industry and network with them to build strong relationships. It could lead to great partnerships in the future.
5. Don’t procrastinate.
No one wants a last-minute invite to an event. It seems like an afterthought, and often times people have already made plans. Members of the press who attend events often have busy schedules. Notify them of your event well before its start date so they can mark their calendars. Early outreach also helps create excitement around your corporate event and can even create interest from potential sponsors.
Getting people excited about your event is a great way to create a buzz surrounding what they could see the night of the gathering. Give people and the media a reason to attend your event. If you have a keynote speaker, a famous guest attending, or have a philanthropic aspect, let the media know. Not only will this boost interest, but it leads to people being even more curious about your brand.
Public relations can make or break an event. Need a little extra help navigating your PR plan? Fourth Wall Events is here to help! Contact our team today at 212-316-0052.