“Stop the presses! We have a big new event coming up and we have to get this story out, stat!”
Of course, it may not happen exactly like that, but earning media attention for your event can do wonders for brand awareness. Interviews, news stories, and plugs are all great ways to not only increase attendance to your event, but also to excite others about participating in future events!
Having previously worked in the news industry, I have had to cover many different events, some I was invited to cover, others were because of the buzz surrounding the event. One thing I always looked for when covering events were interesting guests, notable speakers, and unique activities. Including something interesting like this will make the media much more likely to cover your event.
This guide will show you how make the most of your event’s strong points to earn media attention and ultimately generate more buzz!
Build Your Media List
The first step to earning media attention for any event is to establish contact and relationships with many different members with the media, from TV reporters, to journalists, and even bloggers. Building your media list should be priority number one.
Aside from the general newspapers and TV stations, your media list should also include specialized blogs and websites. Storing your media list can be done simply through Microsoft Excel with PR list templates. However if you use CRM software for your events or other organization functions, PR lists can be created and stored in your system.
Write a Press Release
Reporters won’t know about your event until you tell them about it. The first step to reaching out is developing and sending out a press release that details everything you want a reporter to know about your event.
When writing a press release to the media, you have to articulate why your event is important and why they should even cover it from the get-go. Make sure to clarify who will be there, what will be happening, and what times you event will begin and end. Your press release should be able to cover the key event details so that it creates less work for the reporter, leaving them incentivized to cover your event.
For examples of exemplary press releases, check out this CBS guide!
Once your press release has been drafted, there are different services you can use to distribute your press release. Many companies offer PR services, such as Online PR Media and PR Log, which can help distribute your press release to different sites and RSS feeds across the web.
Reach Out To Reporters and Bloggers Directly
One thing I have learned in life is that most things will not move unless pushed, even reporters. Sometimes a press release isn’t enough to get media attention for your event and a follow-up is crucial to increasing your chances of a response.
When following up with a reporter or blogger, you should first confirm with them that they received your press release. Your press release will help you sell your pitch to the media in a phone call, so you can both address different points about your event and answer any questions the reporter has.
Since most media personnel are on some sort of deadline and need to get information as quickly and efficiently as possible, be sure to have all of your big points ready to give to the reporter/blogger.
If no one happens to be available at that moment, be sure to leave an effective message and let them know you will call back the next day. Be sure to include your name, a clear and short summary about why you are calling, and even though caller I.D. is virtually everywhere now, it doesn’t hurt to repeat your number on the message so the reporter will have no trouble reaching you.
Set Up A Media Personnel Manager/Team
You want the news to go in your favor? You have to direct it in your favor.
Setting up a media management team is crucial to your event, once it is all running in full swing. You will need to account for and manage all members of the media so they can be directed to the right spokespeople for your event.
In addition to your spokesperson providing any relevant information and guidance to all media personnel, your team should have a record of all reporters and produce any press identification for your media guests. Most event management software options include guest and client list management, which can be easily used to manage any media attendees at your event.
Your team should be well versed in everything regarding the story of your event. This includes the why, where, who, what, and when so that any media attendees will have all the details to build their story. You don’t want reporters and bloggers walking around blind without any kind of guidance or necessary information.
Get Out Your Own Story on Social Media
While working to pitch your event to media personnel, you should also be working on your end to spread the word on social media, your own blogs, YouTube videos, and any other venue where you can plug.
Spreading the word about your event on the internet can bring in extra media attention if done right. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. can all draw in bloggers and reporters that are unknown to you, who may share your story and event on their own pages or social media accounts.
Have your events gained significant media traction in the past? How did you attract that attention and did you try anything different? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking for Event Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Event Management software solutions.