Blog outreach and event planning

Keys to successful event planning, determining which broadcast markets to monitor, and more

Keys to successful event planning, determining which broadcast markets to monitor, and more

Event planning
The key to event planning is knowing how to be the facilitator between your client, their audience, and your team, says Robb Corwin, president and CEO of Professional Event Management.
"First and most importantly, you need to know and understand what the client's goals and needs are for the event," he says. "Not grasping your client's expectations from the beginning can cost you valuable time."

Once you have understood the goals and established the timeline, Corwin says to make sure that the client's message gets clearly conveyed to their audience through all aspects of the event, such as the guest list, invitations, press materials, speeches, d?cor, and food.

It's also important to find and effectively utilize the right resources and support services to logistically make the event happen. "Whether it be a florist, valet, security, caterer, or screen-printer, be smart, be intelligent, and be informed when outsourcing any work to a third party," Corwin says. "At the end of the night, the client is not interested in finger-pointing if something goes wrong."

Make sure every member of your team knows the agenda and what is expected of him or her. "Use your experience to foresee challenges," he stresses. "Be ready to change roles at the drop of a hat, and know when to ask for help."

How can we determine the number of broadcast markets we should be monitoring?
You obviously should monitor the markets your audience is in, but determining this isn't that simple, says Brent Bamberger of Bacon's multivision. "There are three components to consider: keyword, product, and campaign," he adds.

A keyword search, such as "non-smoking," works for a targeted market set. "If your client has mounted an anti-smoking campaign in LA, they'd want to monitor smoking stories in California, but a nationwide search would return hundreds of nuisance hits," Bamberger says.

A product-based search, perhaps for a lawn-mower company, benefits from monitoring a wider range of markets, with an emphasis on the target audience communities. "The client will be particularly interested in markets 100 to 150, as most are in rural areas where people have large lawns," he says. "The last place you'd monitor is New York City."

A campaign search, such as for an energy-drink launch, might result in extensive exposure countrywide, so Bamberger says it's important to monitor as many markets as possible.

Do you have any tips for working with bloggers?
Blogs are real-time, online conversations, says Brian Taylor of US Newswire. "And just like any conversation about your issues, industry, or organization, you need to be involved in the dialogue," he adds.

You can easily identify the bloggers who cover your issues through blog-search engines such as or Google Blogsearch.

"Find them, engage them," Taylor says. "Have conference calls with them. Submit posts or comments on relevant blogs from your CEO or president." Doing so establishes your willingness and ability to be part of the conversation.

"Remember: Blogs are a part of the overall communications revolution, they're not the revolution in and of themselves," he says. "Including them in your strategy won't solve all your problems, but not including them can cause you many."

I've heard that PSAs only air in the early morning hours. Is this true?
It is a common misperception that PSAs only air in the early- morning hours, says Annette Minkalis of West Glen Communications.
"Less than one-third of total airings take place then - meaning two-thirds of the airings are between 5am and 1am," she says.

SIGMA data provided by AC Nielsen on several recent TV PSA campaigns, shows that PSAs have healthy exposure throughout the day. The most common times for PSA airings, Minkalis says, were 5am-9am (23%) or 1am-5am (29%).

Analyzing data from some recently tracked radio campaigns, shows that overnight and daytime are the most popular times for PSA broadcasts, she says.

PR Toolbox is edited by Erica Iacono, New York-based reporter for PRWeek. Submit questions to her at Also, please contact her if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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