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. So how do you go about securing media coverage of your event?
Develop a targeted media list
First of all, carry out research into titles and outlets to build your press guestlist. 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.
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, Why, When?). Journalists receive around 20 event invitations a week – so make sure that yours stands out from the crowd. The goal is to create an invitation that can be easily scanned and coveys 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.
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.
Make the event media friendly
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!
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.
Nail your follow up
If media have asked for any follow-up information (such as photos, 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.
Reach out to media who weren’t able to attend
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 event and would like some assistance in generating media coverage, contact us for a chat about how we can help!
For more ideas and information, read our ultimate guide to PR event best practice.