Event marketing is becoming a useful and popular tool for generating buzz, creating publicity and increasing brand awareness. In fact, the growth of event marketing grew from 3.6% in 2011 to a 7.8% growth in 2012, as communications technology and the social media sync with brands concentrating on events that drive sales. By implementing event marketing tactics and strategies combined with professional public relations support, your event will receive optimal media coverage and connect you with influential end-consumers.
If you have a special event scheduled, follow these eight steps to ensure that you earn the attention of the media and online community, generating both media coverage in the short and long term.
Before the event
1. Create a press kit tailored for the event
What makes a great event is great promotion and a press kit will help dispel every component of your brand. Event promotion should consist of press releases, emails and phone calls. The event should receive coverage on TV, radio, print and online if a press release is sent out before and after an event. Create a press release that describes the event, (Who, What, Where, When, Why, How) with hyperlinks to relevant pages on your website. It can be delivered in many ways including video, presentation, paper (either printed and hand-delivered or electronic) or in the shape of a relevant product. The press kit distribution is crucial to your media contacts receiving all necessary information, as well as a personal invitation to the event
•Added Tip: Every single page in your media kit should include your contact details, including email addresses, a phone number where you can be reached at immediately on the day of the event
2. Send invitations to appropriate media outlets and press
It is important to constantly staying in communication with the media that fits with your events specific geographical location. Local and search is an increasing trend in today’s digital era and should be used to your advantage.
3. Lists of story ideas or angles that will help journalists cover your event
Pre-planning your approach for the day of the event is important. This will allow for you to network with strategic media representatives with a segment or article idea that you can specifically have focus on a certain aspect of your brand, service or company thru a special event. Show your media network that you are committed to their agenda as well as your own by pitching an idea that resonates with their audience. This is the strongest ‘story’ bait and makes their job easier.
4. Consider a public service announcement if your event is philanthropic
Most broadcast stations have a public service quota to fill. If your event helps the greater good, creating a short radio spot will not only gain free advertising, but will convey the not for profit essence of your event.
•Added Tip: don’t have a philanthropic element to your event? It’s the perfect incentive to team up with one and give back to your community.
5. Give your event a landing page, website and/or social media profile
In terms of digital marketing, the event should have it’s own social media pages and allow for sharing and RSVPs. Include information about your organization, company, product, service or cause is a way you can direct viewers to a call to action that you want. Include key messages and constant updates to inform and attract. This is your outlet to drive the media and customers attention in order to drive attendance and sales.
During the event
6. Live marketing
Here it is! Your big event. You didn’t do all of this promotion to have it cease at the big shebang. This is your opportunity to connect with your followers and attendees, show the insider’s vantage of the event and personify your brand. Social media is your best friend.This is a full time job.
7. Low-resolution (72 DPI) and high-resolution (300 DPI) professional photos
Capturing and providing pictures of your event, your products or whatever else works with what your event revolves around will increase your chances of media sharing information about your event. The use of digital media is becoming an increasingly important part of the marketing mix as changing technologies in communication continue to take shape. Digital images will increase the sharability and search visibility, while giving your audience a visual connection to your event, as if they were there.
After the event
8. Find the right communication tool to display gratitude to all appropriate outlets
Email is one effective way to reach people, especially because it’s a way to communicate quickly and direct. One thing you should take note of is the fact people are busy and get a lot of emails and often your emails might be coming in as spam email for the receiver. In this case a good old fashioned phone call to the media contact will increase your chances in getting media coverage of your event. Never underestimate the power of post mail or a phone call. It is personal, thoughtful and in one case, tangible; a special touch that makes any ‘thank you’ more sincere than ever.
- This article was originally submitted to Oster and Associates blog while I was their Account Services Intern
About Tony Corsini: Digital marketing consultant specializing in social media and content marketing strategy. You can find me on Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter.