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With all the time and effort required to plan an event, you’ll want it to make the headlines. Getting press to attend your event impresses your clients, builds brand awareness and hopefully results in some media coverage. Read on for our tips for securing media coverage of your event…
You may also like to listen to Episode 11 of our Revitalise & Grow podcast for more helpful advice on maximising events and creating a trade show marketing strategy.
You may also be interested to listen to this episode of the podcast, where we ask the question, why can’t my PR agency guarantee me media coverage?
Develop a targeted media list
First of all, carry out research into the right titles and outlets to build your press guest list. Which newspapers, magazines, television programmes, radio stations and influencers will be interested in your event? A relevant mixture of local, national and international press will ensure your event reaches a wide audience. Additionally, think about whether influencers or online content creators are relevant to your event. Today, these people have as much, if not more of an audience than traditional media. An Instagram story, a blog post, or even a vlog could promote your brand to their 100s or 1000s of followers. That is some powerful and valuable media coverage right there!
Announce the event with a news release
Start the hype early by writing a news release to raise awareness of the event with the media. You can ask the media to print details of the event, and also use this as an opportunity to secure their attendance. Focus on the important details and make sure it sounds like an unmissable event to generate FOMO!
Create an irresistible invitation
When creating the invitation, make sure it is eye-catching and concise, including only the pertinent points – the 5 Ws (Who, What, Where, When, Why?). Journalists receive numerous event invitations a week – so make sure yours stands out from the crowd. The goal is to create an invitation that can be easily scanned and conveys the tone of the event. Allowing plus ones is also a good strategy as it will encourage attendance – nobody really likes going to events alone. It is important that your invite is on brand, get yourself out there right from the start! If they have already heard of you, and recognise your branding on the invite, they may be more likely to attend.
Pitch early and efficiently
Include the key details in the email subject line and include an image in the body of the email, not as an attachment – journalists are busy, so an invitation that loads quickly and easily on mobile devices is a sure winner. Providing an ‘add to calendar’ button or calendar request in your event invite is a useful gesture and guarantees brownie points. Through your media outreach you’ll also make useful contacts for the future, so it pays to make an impression. The more successful this event is, the more likely you are to receive even more media coverage for future events too!
Media coverage made easy
Help journalists out by setting up an area for them to write their stories on-site. Designate a space that can be used exclusively as a media room so there is somewhere for them to work while they cover the event. With media increasingly using online platforms to report the news quickly and on the move, you’ll need to make sure the venue has great WiFi, and of course, free refreshments are a must! Facilities like this will make journalists feel appreciated and special, a good first impression means they are more likely to attend further events, and offer more media coverage of your brand.
Access to hi-res images
Arranging a professional photographer to take awesome pictures of your event will help your event get into the press. Brief the photographer before the event for the look and feel you require for the photos to make sure that they tell the story, ensuring a good mix of posed and informal shots. You’ll then have an album of images to use yourself on your owned channels and this also means you’ll have the final decision on a selection of images to send out to press, to create valuable media coverage. Don’t forget video either!
Nail your follow up
If media have asked for any follow-up information (such as photos, videos, contact information, fact sheets etc) make sure you provide them in a timely fashion. You want to ensure the journalists have all the information they need to meet their deadlines and include coverage of your event.
Media coverage is not limited to those who attended
Even if some of the titles you invited were unable to make the event, they may still report on it. Reach out to the media you invited with a package of assets (photos, video, fact sheet etc) from the event that could help them formulate a story and offer interviews with key spokespeople.
If you are planning an upcoming event, and would like some help securing media coverage, do drop us an email: email@example.com and we’d love to chat to you about how we can help.