• How to professionalize the PR efforts for your next event

    If you want to promote an event/program, it is very important to develop a PR action plan in the very early stage. The best strategy: Start as early as possible!

    To make a clear picture you might divide the whole campaign into three phases 1) before, 2) during, 3) after the event. The most part of your work you will have to do before the event.

    1) Before an Event

    a) Define your story

    Everything a journalist cares about is the story! If you want that the media covers SIA, you have to define and create a great story. Media channels don’t like to cover one and the same story, they love to be special.

    • Give the media exclusive stories
    • Pack stories in different ways for different TV programs (use morning shows, talks, news, etc.)

     

    b) Develop personal connections

    As emotional as journalists are about stories they are about people. So, don’t work with media organizations but with the individuals that work in them.

    • Make a list of most valuable potential media partners and call them
    • Meet journalists face-to-face and build a personal connection (don’t forget to bring an impact report!)
    • Don’t be afraid of getting in touch with mainstream media such as TV and larger newspapers or radio stations. SIA is a sexy product with attractive stories. If you do it right, they will love it!
    • Consider the right day time for journalists when scheduling an event.

    c) Create a press release

    Journalists are busy people. The more organized and clear press releases they receive from you, the bigger your media coverage will be. You will have to prepare two separate sheets. The first one will be an announcement of the event, which you will have to send in advance to the event to invite media representatives at the event. The second one is a press release that should be sent straight after the event.

    Announcement:

    • Start with an attention-grabbing headline in bold font
    • Begin the body with the date and the venue
    • Summarize the subject in the lead sentence
    • With two sentences describe the program/event
    • Put the logos of event/program, partners, stakeholders

    Press Release:

    • Start with an attention-grabbing headline in bold font
    • Begin the body with the date and the venue
    • Summarize the subject in the lead sentence
    • Describe the important details of your story for the rest of the body
    • Add quotations of key stakeholders
    • Do not forget to include your contact information
    • Do not make the press release too long (max 2 pages)
    • Put the logos of event/program, partners, stakeholders
    • Attach a photo of the event to the press release

    2) During an Event

    When the big day has come, make sure to host the journalists well and provide them with all the information they might need. The best way to do so is by distributing a media kit. Such a media kit should come in a branded folder and include:

    • Press release
    • Facts and figures about SIA in a form of a factsheet
    • Photos of team members, partner representatives, and other relevant stakeholders; event photos
    • SIA information brochure or flyer
    • Business cards of representatives
    • (Ideally branded) USB stick with all that information (plus a SIA power-point presentation)

    Moreover, there are a few tips&tricks that will make your PR efforts throughout the event more successful:

    • Journalists are busy people, so they might not stay until the end of the event – put the most important things in the beginning;
    • Prepare all the speakers who are going to give a comment for the media in advance. For media representatives it is more convenient to take the interviews before starting the event;
    • If the budget allows, hire a professional photographer to capture your event and record it. To have a high quality photos is particularly important to share with the media;
    • Have a prepared list of invited guests and media representatives in the entrance to check who is attending – you might use the list for upcoming events;
    • Start the event on time – nobody likes waiting;
    • After finishing the event try to contact the journalists directly building on the personal relationship.
    • Do not forget to say special thanks to the media representatives;
    • Ask media representatives where they are going to broadcast their story; otherwise you will have to spend the following days searching for the coverage.

    3) After an Event

    It’s not over yet. To make your PR efforts really professional, follow up on the event with this:

    • Send the press release to your media mailing list straight after the event, or even before finishing it;
    • Collect all the media coverage and archive, you will need it in the future to show your (potential) partners how you increase their brand recognition;
    • Put the most interesting TV stories about the event on your Social Media channels (tag people);
    • Start all over again and plan your next event!

     

     

    This blogpost has been created by Ketevan Ebanoidze from SIA Georgia. Ketevan is a public relations and media communications specialist with extensive experience working for wide range of TV programs in different Georgian televisions. Prior to Impact Hub, since 2010 she lead Media and Communication Division at the Ministry of Culture and Monument protection of Georgia, where she managed high standard media communication and public relations for the Ministry, Ministry officials and for 80 entities working under the ministry. She graduated Journalism from Tbilisi state University and did her Master’s degree at Georgian Institute of Public Affairs in Journalism and Media-Management. She is an alumni of London School of Public Relations.

    Chief-Editor: Tizian Müllritter

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