A PR event can be great for generating free media coverage for your client, but it needs to be properly organized or disaster may ensue. In this article I have set out some tips for ensuring that your PR event achieves all the goals set for it.
Organizing a successful PR event isn’t a complicated matter — you just have to follow a few guidelines in order to ensure that things are arranged as smoothly and effectively as possible by taking the steps described below…
1. Decide on the type of event
The type of event which suits your client will be determined by a number of variables such as his budget, the desired outcome and whether he wants to focus on swift or long-term success. Having discussed these factors with the person you are working for, you can suggest an event which seems most appropriate to his needs. The final decision, of course, rests with the client.
2. Set a suitable date
Whatever kind of event your client decides on, make it clear that all events take time to put together. Ideally, you should set a date at least six months hence for the event, and preferably more. The more time you have to promote the event, the more successful it is likely to be. This isn’t to say that planning an event to take place in six weeks time is impossible, because it isn’t, but it will require considerable effort to ensure that everything is arranged properly in such a short space of time.
3. Make a list of all that needs arranging
Different events require different arrangements. If your client wants to sponsor a sporting event then discussions will need to be entered into with the individual or team in question. If he wants to launch an open competition then decisions as to the type of competition, how it will be promoted and the prizes involved will need to be made. Whatever the kind of event you are asked to work on, make a list of every single thing which needs arranging, from organizing a suitable venue to obtaining any licenses which may be necessary (for example, a performance license or a license to run a lottery).
4. Start promoting the event
When you know exactly what you need to do to get a successful event organized, you can start promoting it. The most cost-effective way to do this is by sending press releases to as many as possible local (or national if the event demands this) newspapers, broadcasters and other relevant organizations. Of course, in addition to using press releases, other promotional methods can be employed if the budget allows. Advertising, direct mailshots and even internet promotion can all be used to good effect for many events.
5. Use your list to set things up
Now that you have started the ball rolling by promoting the event, start working through your list and setting things up. Hire the venue, send out invitations and do whatever else you have decided you need to do to make the event a success.
6. Aim to get ongoing publicity
Once everything is in place and the event itself is sorted out, aim to get even more publicity by contacting the feature editors of newspapers, magazines and television shows and inviting them to cover the event. If the event is something that will be of interest to their readers or viewers, you can get coverage before, during and after the event — thus turning perhaps a ‘one-day’ PR event into a publicity campaign which spans several weeks.
If you follow these simple guidelines, your PR event should be a resounding success and generate lots of valuable publicity and goodwill for your client.