3 ways to use PR to promote your event
This is a guest blog from PR expert Hope McKellar from PR agency Hope Mckellar PR.
You’ve planned the event; the invites are out, and everything is in place – what next? Most people’s initial response would be to flock to social media and watch the tickets fly off the shelves, without a thought about other means of promotion.
I’m Hope, founder of Hope Mckellar PR. I’m a former journalist, and now help businesses of all shapes and sizes to promote what they do using the media. One of the main perks of the job – and possibly one of the subjects I covered the most – was the events. Whether it be a business conference or the opening of a swanky new bar, the press attention was one of the things that made the event stand out above the rest.
Social media is one of the first places lots of people go to publicise just about anything. A quick Tweet, a post on LinkedIn, maybe even a paid Facebook ad and that’s your marketing strategy ticked off.
With a highly saturated environment on social media, particularly with many businesses shifting to virtual-only events, it can be hard to break through the noise and gain the attention you desire.
so how does PR help?
PR is one of the most credible ways to promote anything, the way I describe it to my clients is that it is like a referral on a huge scale. You no longer have to sing your own praises and use social media to tell the world how great you are as someone else is doing it for you.
But PR is a part of the marketing jigsaw puzzle that is often left untouched.
Not only does PR help you build a solid reputation for your business, brand or organisation through organic marketing, but it helps you reach a whole new audience. If someone were to Google your service and had the option to choose one company based on just a website and another based on a website and a news article, they’re much more likely to choose the latter.
I’m going to share with you three ways you can use PR to go above and beyond in your marketing strategy for your next event – whether virtual or in-person.
invite local press
This one sounds obvious, but it is often avoided by many businesses due to the fear of rejection or the idea that the press only attends high-profile events such as The Oscars or press conferences with local MPs.
Not only will you potentially get media coverage off the back of the invitation, but just being able to tell potential attendees that the local press will be covering the event will build momentum and raise the event’s profile.
It’s also a great way to forge a relationship with journalists, which is going to definitely benefit you in the long-run. PR is very relationships-heavy and the opportunity to meet a journalist and get that ball rolling is something a lot of others don’t have, so make use of it!
When a journalist has taken their time to come along to an event, they’re much more likely to cover it as a news story, leading to more eyes on your brand and potentially more money in your pocket.
organise an interview on local radio
I know we’re talking a lot about local media, but it is something that a lot of people rule out in a rush to gain national coverage. PR is like a ladder that you have to climb and, as they say, no press is bad press – certainly not local press!
A radio interview is a great way to promote anything, particularly an event. Pitching the story to your local radio presenters could mean getting interviewed, live on air, for their listeners to hear what you have to say.
When getting stories featured in print, you lose a bit of editorial control as ultimately it’s down to the final editor of that article to decide what makes the final cut. With radio, you have a bit more control. You’re able to steer the conversation in whichever way you’d like it to go and cover all the points you came to raise.
It also has a personable aspect, with listeners able to see the people behind the brand and get to know them more than they could by just seeing pictures and words.
As well as this, it’s another relationship you can build.
post any coverage of the event on socials
Although social media is saturated and sometimes can be a hard place to be heard, it’s made much easier when you have great content. PR is that great content.
Posting a piece of published news can boost your credibility massively within your existing audience. There are always ‘lurkers’ on social media, who watch but don’t make their presence known and often they are the people who are closest to buying into your brand. Giving them a piece of content that proves to them that you are as credible as you say you are can be the final thing that sways them, leading them to convert and buy tickets for your next event.
As well as this, post-event coverage is great as it builds the profile of the next event. People who didn’t attend will see it as a hot diary date and will be more likely to book onto the next one out of FOMO (fear of missing out).
PR is a great marketing tool that you can use to build a great, credible reputation for your business, build relationships with the right people, reach a whole new untouched market and create a hype any event.
If you have no idea where to start with PR, you can get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a one-to-one call to discuss done-for-you PR options.
If you want to know more about how to mix up your comms marketing strategy, my membership group and workshops teach people everything they need to know about PR from a former journalist’s perspective. Go to www.hopemckellarpr.co.uk/hopes-hub
To get in touch with the team at Collaborate please contact us at email@example.com