Events take a large amount of effort, time, and money to put together. It would be a shame if after all that work, nobody showed up. This is where public relations can be an asset to event planners. Public relations can serve as a messenger by relaying the details of an event to its intended audience. Here are a few things to remember before crafting a PR plan for an upcoming event.
1. Start Early
You may have months to plan, or a year, but either way, the best way to ensure a great turn out is to get the information out about the event as soon as possible. This exposes the audience to the event and builds their interest. Planning ahead allows for more time to contact and secure sponsors, and to encourage media to cover the event.
2. Identify the audience
When selecting a target audience, it is important to know if the organization already has an identified audience that they would like to contact. If they don’t have one, there are other questions that need to be answered before selecting and contacting an audience. For instance, is this an event exclusive and for a specific group, or is it open for everyone? Is there a certain amount of people the venue can hold? Is there an age restriction, such as a wine tasting for those who are 21 years old or older? The press is an audience too, so make sure to identify and contact those who are likely to attend the event.
3. Contact the audience
This is where research comes in handy. The media platforms on which the audience spends most of their time is essential information to know how to reach maximum amount of exposure for the event. It is important to use consistent messaging, but to alter the information based on the specific channel being used. For example, an upcoming event would be displayed very differently through email as opposed to Twitter, which is shorter and more informal. These various mediums can also be used to help remind the audience when the event is coming up.
4. Display the benefits
People want to attend events that benefit them, so make sure that the benefits are clearly displayed. Use these benefits when writing messaging to the public to give them a reason to attend. When connecting with the audience, make sure that their interests align with the content of the event. If a charity auction benefiting sea turtles is occurring, make sure that any audiences that have an interest in them are made aware of the how the event connects to them.
5. Be consistent
Make sure that everything that is sent out stays consistent with other messaging to the audience. It would be inconvenient for the audience, and it would look unprofessional, if the information was spelled incorrectly. This means making sure all the details of the event are accurate and up to date. Nobody wants to show up to a party to an empty room. Most importantly, make sure any updates are communicated to the target audience, any sponsors and/or press as soon as possible.
Remember that this is the audience’s and organization’s event, so allow them to have the best experience possible by putting forward the best effort possible. With these tips considered, the public relations being conducted can help to connect people to an event that will not only entertain them, but also benefit them.
Noelle Hobbs is a junior from Macomb, MI majoring in Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Writing and in Digital Studies. She is the Vice President of Standards of her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi. In her free time, Noelle enjoys playing tennis, reading, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family.