Putting on an event is a great way to showcase your personal brand and connect with your audiences. However, getting people to show up and maximise the PR opportunity is just as important as organising the event.
Here is an outline of a PR and marketing strategy you can apply to nearly any event or opening.
1. Get great visuals
Before you do anything, get great photos! Visuals are so important for promotion and marketing. Images help your audience understand and relate to your event. You will use the images across all of your marketing and PR material, so having high resolution professional photos on hand to send straightaway to any journalist who asks for them will be a life saver. Don’t forget you can do a video as well.
2. Write a media release
Journalists need to receive information about your event in a certain way and a media release is the best way to do that. In the release add images, where and when the event is being held, and any other important and compelling details.
3. Local news love local talent
Local papers love writing about the latest talent from their area. Research the details of the local newspapers, magazines and even radio stations for where you live and where the event is being held. Then send the media release and images to the editors or producers at those outlets. There’s a good chance they’ll want to run a feature piece if the idea is interesting enough.
4. List your event
Newspapers and event sites are always looking for interesting events to put in their ‘What’s on’ sections. Do your research and provide information about your event: what, when, where, cost, and a short description. Find the journalists that manage the ‘What’s On’ section and email them the information directly, or many online sites have forms you simply fill in. This takes some time but it’s definitely worth doing in order to boost the reach of your event.
5. Find media that relate to your event niche
Research the media outlets that write about the niche your event falls under. For example, if your event is on technology, then look up the journalists that specialise in technology and send them the release (and invite them!).
6. Writing articles
Think about telling some stories that relate to your event by writing articles for publications. For instance, if your event is an art exhibition, perhaps write a piece on the latest trends in your field of expertise.
While many people no longer think to produce a printed flyer, it’s worth considering. For example, if you were hosting an art exhibition, you could print flyers as well as create a digital version. The digital version could be shared via email as well as on Facebook and Instagram. The printed version could be handed out and left at local cafes and art centres.
8. Social media
Love it or hate it, social media is perfect to promote an event. On Facebook, share your event information multiple times on your page and in niche pages and groups. Also, create an event on Facebook, invite your friends and ask them to share it.
Instagram is perfect for events as the site is based around visuals. Share your work, use hashtags effectively, and direct message influencers. Also, follow other Instagrammers that are in your niche, many will follow you back.
Events are such an important part of building your personal brand. Although at times promoting your own event can feel self-promotional, you need to move beyond those feelings and understand that the more PR and marketing you do, the more people can attend your event.
About the author
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field. www.unknowntoexpert.com
Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business. www.cpcommunications.com.au