Non-profit organizations and companies arrange events to promote an idea, a cause or a project that is important to the industry. Types of events can range from formal to casual and once-in-a-lifetime to recurring. Public relations practitioners use events as an occasional tool to achieve broad purposes. From a public relations perspective, when hosting an event, it is very important to keep in mind the goals and objectives for the event and the target audiences you want to reach. When surrounded in the scenery of the events, it is easy to get caught up in the hype and glamour. Don’t get carried away. Public relations practitioners who plan the events cannot lose sight of the objectives. The main purpose is to support their organization in maintaining its key relationships. Here are some tips how PR plays an key role in planning an event:
“Public relations – through traditional and new channels – can effectively generate ticket sales and attendance, secure sponsors and advertisers, create a buzz of excitement and public awareness, and encourage media to attend and/or cover the event.”
- Develop a PR plan around the event. Have an outline of the strategies and tactics to be able to communicate the key messages to target audiences, schedule deadlines and write up responsibilities. The PR plan should include sever channels, such as social media outreach, e-mail marketing and web site updates.
- Tailor key messages for each channel. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are perfect method to use to connect with customers, friends and/or followers. Posting photos and video content on these social media sites should build followers and drive people to your company’s page. E-mail blasts is a useful tactic to use when sending out a “Save the Date” reminder or event specifics to get people to attend.
- Plan your work and work your plan. Make and keep on hand an organized schedule with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. It is a good piece of document to track your efforts for future use.
- Know your target audience. Contact the press that will cover and attend the event and pitch it appropriately to local, business and vertical media. Hire a photographer if the event needs/wants one. Communicate with radio outlets early on the day of the event.
- Have a timeline. Start PR outreach early on in the game. First, make sure the date and venue for the event are secured beforehand. Second, contact local photographers in advance, as their schedules will fill up fast. Starting as early as possible will help with attendance and securing sponsorships with a lead time for logistical planning.
- Be creative and provide a hook. Give the audience a reason to attend the event and make that message clear. Plan ahead.
Today, the special events industry has grown to become a big business on its own. They provide an essential component to engage in conversation with others and host what a companies efforts are going towards to at the moment.
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