PR: The Good, Bad and Ugly
4 Tips For PR Event Success
by Erin Smith on 08/27/2012
Events - whether they are grand openings, press conferences, or launch events – can be a great way to make an announcement to the public and media. You cannot have an event for just anything – it needs to have purpose. If you are considering a PR event to make an announcement, keep these tips in mind when planning:
A well-planned event is a successful event
If your organization does not have previous experience managing an event, make sure you hire the right people to support you. An event is something that the media and a large number of people will see and is a direct representation of you and your organization. Do not be afraid to have the experts supporting you. For example, MMI Public Relations has supported many of our clients in their PR events. It usually is much different in planning and strategy than the traditional media strategy that may be in place for the year.
The main purpose of hosting an event is to collect media attention for your organization. Managing the media specifically means that you are prepared for their arrival with information on the event, opportunities for interviews and being 100 percent available to assist them with whatever they may need. Most reporters want to get in and get out, so having someone from your team by their side at all times will help ensure that they get everything they request and there will be no holes in the end news story.
Manage Your Team
When planning an event I always put on my crisis PR hat. It is important fully anticipate whatever may come your way during the event. Who will be doing what? What time do your team members need to be at the event? How will everyone be contacted during the event? Who is the lead at the event?
Timing is everything in a successful PR event. Once you select the day and time, check local calendar listings and other events to make sure nothing else will conflict with your event. How far in advance can you let the public know about your event? If it is public, sooner is better. What about the media? Have you contacted them and invited them to come? And it all comes down to that day and the timing of your program. You do not want it to be too long or too short. If you are having speeches or having multiple people speak, a good role of thumb is to keep remarks at two minutes.
There is so much to think about when planning a PR event for your organization. For me, these are the four main areas to focus on when putting your event together. Whether you plan it alone or bring partners in to help, make sure your team knows these priorities.