Do you have a new product to launch? Has your business undergone a major change your audience should know about? If so, it's time to spread the word!
Media publicity is one of the best ways to make a big splash and create a buzz for your brand. But if you want to get the attention of the media, you need to stand out from the crowd. While planning a successful media event requires a bit of effort, most experts agree that the benefits are well worth it. And, with the right team in place, it's easier than you might think. The following tips will help you get started.
Before we dive into the details, let’s take a look at the basics – what is a media event? Also known as a press event or a “pseudo-event,” these are pre-planned events that are specifically designed to boost publicity related to an activity, event, or product release.
Media events create an opportunity for business owners to gain public attention for free rather than paying for advertisements. And, since media coverage is unpaid, it's also often seen as a more credible source of information.
There are many different formats you can use when planning a media event. However, some have consistently created desired results, making them the most popular choices. Here’s a closer look at the four most popular types of media events.
A press conference is the most common way to officially distribute information to the media. This format is popular because it also gives you the opportunity to immediately answer any questions that might arise from your announcement. While press conferences are often used to address public relations (PR) issues, they are also effective for other uses, such as announcing a new ad campaign or presenting a scientific breakthrough.
If your business is sponsoring a charity event, acquiring new talent, or making some other major changes, a press conference might be the perfect opportunity to get the word out in a big way.
Product launches are specifically designed to debut a new product to the market. A soft product launch gives a smaller, targeted user base first access to the new product, while a hard launch releases it to the entire marketplace. It’s common for companies to put a lot of effort into the time leading up to the product launch, building anticipation around the actual release date.
Just as the name implies, an award ceremony is an event where individuals are awarded accolades for their achievements. They’re often semi-formal or formal events with trophies or other memorabilia given to the recipients. An awards ceremony may be held by one company to honor its employees or as part of a larger industry conference where many companies are in attendance.
Photo ops give attendees a chance to have their photograph taken with a politician, celebrity, or other notable individual or product. These media events first became popular as a way for politicians to reach voters and gain trust. However, they’re now often used by companies to showcase their latest products or present the company’s upper management in a positive light.
Whichever type of media event you choose, applying some simple principles can help ensure that it’s as successful as it can be. As you plan your media event, consider these tips.
Whether you’re creating brand awareness or launching a new product, it’s always good to start with an end goal in mind. This will help you hone your message and give you some benchmarks to measure the overall success of the event.
While it’s possible to create a media event on your own, having a team of professionals to guide your decisions can help ensure your event’s success. For example, a professional public relations manager can help you reach key people in the media and assist you with securing sponsors and advertisers.
An event planning expert will handle all the details and ensure the event goes as planned while also allowing you to focus on other things, like preparing your presentation and socializing with attendees.
Finally, a skilled marketing strategist can amplify the results of your event by sharing the media exposure you receive on other channels – such as email and social media. This omnichannel approach can help you reach a broader audience and make an even greater impact.
Your PR manager and marketing team can work together to create an exciting message that resonates with your target audience and keeps them interested and engaged in your event. Incorporating storytelling into your messaging will help create an emotional connection with your audience, making the entire event far more exciting.
From the venue to the decorations, every detail of your media event is a reflection of your company and should be consistent with your brand. For this reason, it’s important to focus not just on what the speaker is saying but also on what the overall environment is saying. Remember, the media will be sharing the image you present to the public, so do as much as you can to ensure it is flattering.
If possible, provide attendees with hands-on access to your products and display them in ways that create photo opportunities. Also, plan to provide professionally designed brochures or a list of key talking points for each attendee.
Your press event will only get you so far if the right people don't show up. If you want to create a buzz, you need to make sure the press will actually attend. Following are a few ways to ensure you get their attention.
Sending out a press release will help the media decide if your story is worthy of their coverage. Since reporters get many press releases every day, it’s important to keep it simple and provide all the details they need without any extra hype. Hiring a professional press release writer who understands how to capture the media's attention can significantly increase your chances of success.
If you want the press to attend your event, you need to do it at a time that works for them. Generally, reporters are available in the mid-morning and early afternoon. Since they often have evening deadlines, events that are scheduled at 4 pm or 5 pm on weekdays may be a challenge. It’s also a good idea to check community calendars and make sure your event isn’t opposite any other big local events that might pull attention away.
You’ll want to leave the press with a positive impression of your business, so make sure you have a professionally created press kit ready to send with them when they leave. Not only will the information you provide in the press kit help them write their story, but it will also give you some control over what is ultimately reported.
Your press kit should include some background information about your company as well as relevant information about what was discussed during the event. You may also provide photographs, website and social media links, and other information that will provide a well-rounded picture of your company.
There’s a good chance reporters may have questions for you after the event, so make sure someone who understands all the details is available to take their calls. Include a phone number and other contact information for your designated media contact in your press kit. Then, make sure to keep them on standby for at least a few days after your press event.
If you’re ready to start planning your next media event, remember that it truly does take a team. While you may be the face of your business, it’s critical to work with experts who can showcase you and your brand in the best possible light. Start your journey by exploring the wide range of business experts available for hire on the Fiverr platform!