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By: Kelsi Taylor
In my experience working with strategies in public relations, I have learned five different ways to prepare, plan and successfully put on an event. These tools can be applied to all types of events and should be used accordingly.
- Research: When preparing for an event, one of the most important things to do is to research who your target audience will be. So that you understand what people care about in terms of promoting or celebrating that event. It is also important to research publications you want to cover for the event that is being put on, to gain coverage. You will want to target a specific publication that focuses on your type of event, whether it is education, entertainment, marketing a product or business seminars, there will be a publication that covers the topic.
- Event content: To plan an event, you need to consider what type of theme goes with the type of event you are putting on. It could be an anniversary, entertainment or a motivational speaker. All of these themes take a different angle on the production of the event. The content in the event goes back to your plan to extend your audience and who you want to attract, therefore your theme is based on what is going to extend your reach. Some questions to keep in mind are, will you have activities? Will you have adult beverages? What’s trending? Will pull in your audience? Building a web page or writing blog posts about the event itself can provide more background and behind the scenes features of what to expect from the event you are planning.
- Coverage: To promote awareness and create an image, this needs to be done through media coverage and the different outlets you can use to reach your target audience, as well as sending a specific message to excite the public. Posting your event content to event calendars gets the word out and arises interest. Writing a pitch to the press is an extremely important tactic, because it is what is going to create a storyline. Giving the public information they would want to know about the event in a short, concise and intriguing piece. Word of advice for publications is that you want to reach out to publications a month or two before the event so you have enough time to gain awareness.
“Writing a pitch to the press is an extremely important tactic, because it is what is going to create a storyline.”
- Social media: There are multiple platforms of social media to use that engage with your target audience. You can reach a wider and more diverse audience through platforms because the demographics on these sites range in ages, interests and sex. It is important to take advantage of what is mainstream because that is where the majority of your reach will be. Influencer marketing is a huge benefit in the success of campaigns and if you know someone famous or well educated on the topic of your event, that alone will create hype and reflects common interest between the audience and influencer which builds a connection. Social media is also great for live updates on the event and creating a trend with hashtags as well as tagging the organization’s page.
- Evaluation: Now that you have successfully delivered the event, it is time to reflect on your goals and expectations of the event. Was the outcome what you intended? Did the event follow guidelines you prepared? How did it differ from the beginning vision? At this point, your goal is to maintain earned media, engage with your audience, gain a bigger following and reach more influencers through their interest in your event.