The benefits of trade shows, consistent messaging, more

How can we make the most out of PR efforts around a trade show?

Trade shows
How can we make the most out of PR efforts around a trade show?

“Trade shows are a great place to meet media contacts, build relationships, and work on stories for your clients,” says Mary Clare Middleton, VP at Wheatley & Timmons.

She recommends starting your outreach efforts by getting a list of media who will be in attendance. Once contacts are established, start reaching out to them early to ensure they save time for your client.

“It's essential to draw the media to your client's booth,” Middleton notes. “Host an event with a relevant spokesperson and offer one-on-one interviews. Type of event can vary, as long as the topic appeals to your audience.”

Attending trade shows can also help build the client/agency relationship. “Use the opportunity to get a better understanding of the sales aspect of the company and support the sales team,” advises Middleton.

Messaging
Our pitch needs an overhaul in this tough economy. How can we get the entire staff on the same page?

“An organization should evaluate key messages to ensure its pitch is relevant to its audience and consistent on every level at every point of contact,” says Lori Wilson, cofounder of Funnel Incorporated.

Infographics that integrate visuals and text to map out service benefits or how a product works serve as training materials and crib sheets for anyone representing your brand, she adds.

“This can be a powerful and cost-effective tool to ensure that everyone is aware of the top key points every conversation should have,” notes Wilson.

Space constraints demand each key message be concise and relevant, and prioritizing information during the infographic creation process encourages consensus among departments. “The result is compilation of critical sound bites that anyone internally or in the field can adopt and make their own,” she explains.

Social media
How can organizations connect with their target audiences beyond traditional channels?

Companies need to refine the marketing mix and integrate social media to connect with core customers, says Domenick Cilea, president of Springboard Public Relations. Social media provides a medium to listen to what people are saying and become part of the conversation.

“Tools such as Twitter, Disqus, and Tumblr provide the capability to engage, share experiences, generate discussion, and influence others,” he points out.

As organizations increase their use of social media, Cilea says they should be sure to offer authentic content on a frequent basis and empower people to embrace their message.

“Those who understand and utilize these platforms will be apt to engage customers, create new market opportunities, and develop tighter connections with their brand,” he says.

Send your questions to:
toolbox@prweek.com. Please contact Beth Krietsch if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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