How to run a successful consumer PR event

Press events are an excellent way to raise awareness of a brand or service among consumers and key members of the press. If executed well, an event provides an incentive for journalists to leave their desks and interact directly with the brand, which in turn provides a level of exposure and engagement that money can't buy.

Shelley Frosdick shares top tips on how to run a successful consumer PR event
Shelley Frosdick shares top tips on how to run a successful consumer PR event
Here are some top tips for making your consumer PR event a standout success – delivering a return on investment that will be seen long after the event has passed.

1) SET YOUR OBJECTIVES AND GOALS It is crucial that you think clearly about what you want to achieve from an event before you begin planning. Is it to alert press of a new product launch, to raise awareness of a campaign? You need to have a clear understanding of the desired outcome in order to deliver a successful event.

2) WHO DO YOU WANT TO REACH? Think carefully about your audience. Which publications does the event lend itself to and are you targeting the right journalists? When it comes to generating widespread interest, it is also worth considering bloggers, vloggers and celebrities to create an online and offline buzz.

3) WOW FACTOR Journalists tend to be inundated with invitations to events, so whether it is a live demonstration of a treatment or an unveiling of a new clothing collection, there must be an enticing component that gives the press a valid reason to attend. Creative, unique invitations are also a great way to get your event noticed from the outset. 

4) TIMING There are certain times of the year that should be avoided as journalists in the consumer and lifestyle sector are likely to have other commitments. Avoid key dates such as big award ceremonies and the Fashion Weeks, as these are likely to dictate editorial agendas.

5) THEME It is important to have a ‘vision’ so that you can ensure all marketing material – invitations, follow-up press material and collateral on the day – is in sync. This helps to create a streamlined and professional impression from the get-go. 

6) BUDGET AND PREPARATION Have you allocated a realistic budget? Venue, invitations, props, marketing material and couriers need to be considered. Hiring a professional photographer is also key as publications and bloggers will want strong images to accompany their features.

7) SOCIAL MEDIA The immediacy and accessibility of social channels such as Twitter and Instagram make them great vehicles for spreading the word about your event. Establishing a relevant and snappy hashtag can also create online conversations, and occasionally become a Twitter trend.

8) FOLLOW UP It is crucial to follow up with journalists after the event – don’t forget to credit your brand and ensure the messaging is reiterated. Goody bags at the end of the event are also a great way to show appreciation for attendance, and including an informative press release will ensure journalists have relevant information to hand.

Shelley Frosdick is PR director at PHA Media

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