The common misconception about publicists is that they are always attending fabulous parties in a little black dress, like Samantha Jones from Sex and the City. While that’s not usually the case, we do frequently plan and attend numerous events for our clients. At South Florida-based public relations agency, Durée & Company, we have over 20 years of experience in strategizing and executing newsworthy events for diverse clients in multiple industries – from Miami to Aspen and everywhere in between.
As an effective component to any PR strategy, events are a great way to garner press coverage for clients. While events look fun and simple, it isn’t always easy to wrangle media to attend. If you want to get media attention surrounding your next event, here are some key tips to keep in mind.
Before the Event:
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
- Ensure that your event is newsworthy and something that reporters would be excited to cover for their readers or viewers.
- Organize a tailored media list with the appropriate contacts that are relevant for your client’s audience.
- Look at events already confirmed in your area and schedule your event when it’s easy for media to attend.
- Create a visually appealing invitation. Make sure you balance visuals with text.
- Create a compelling pitch and press release with timely human-interest angles. Don’t forget to determine and call out visuals for video journalists!
- Pitch and invite media early so they have enough time to plan and prepare for the event and determine if they are able to do pre-event coverage.
- Hire a professional photographer and curate a shot list based on your run of show to capture key photos including important spokespeople from the brand, notable guests, ambience, event sponsors, etc. Without high-quality images, media is less likely to write about your event.
- Media train your clients so that they are prepared for any potential interviews with journalists.
- Follow up with media one week out from the event to confirm their attendance and answer any questions they may have.
- Check back with media two days before the event and ensure they have contact info for the on-site representative and directions to the event.
During the Event:
Once media have arrived, ensure your event is a worthwhile and memorable experience.
- Have a designated media check in area and ensure you greet the media once they arrive.
- Make sure that media feels like a VIP by introducing them to key players from the brand and other VIPs. Ensure that they are conformable and are having a good time without being overbearing.
- Have a spokesperson from the brand available for potential on-site interviews.
- Shadow the photographer to ensure they are capturing the shot list and taking down guests’ names correctly. It’s important to have the names of the guests in the photos or media generally cannot use them in their story or for society pages.
- Capture and post photos and videos on social media during the event.
- Create a customized hashtag for your event and encourage guests to use it when sharing photos on social media.
- Ensure media have everything they need for their story while they are at the event.
- Consider swag bags as a takeaway gift. Guests love fun, branded items that are also useful.
Remember, media attendance is not always guaranteed coverage. There are a few things you can do after the event to help generate buzz.
- Follow up with media who attended the event to thank them for attending and share press assets such as images, captions, b-roll and the post-event press release.
- For the media who were unable to attend the event, reach out to them with the press assets from the event and offer them an interview with a spokesperson from the brand to assist them in creating a story.
At South Florida-based public relations agency Durée & Company, we are experts in strategizing and executing diverse events, from grand openings and ribbon cuttings to construction groundbreakings, galas an corporate anniversaries. We love curating unforgettable events for our clients! Planning an event? Don’t worry, we’ll do the ground work for you! To find out more about our event planning services – click here.
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About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. The firm serves the corporate, agency and non-profit arenas for local, national and international clients focusing on public relations for real estate, public relations for restaurants, public relations for law firms, public relations for charities, public relations for healthcare, and many more. Durée & Company services include Public Relations, Social Media, Marketing, Advertising, Special Events, and Radio Promotions and Outreach.