Effective event use, metrics on a small budget, and more

Other than a press conference, how can you maximize your client's message through the use of an event?

Other than a press conference, how can you maximize your client's message through the use of an event?

For every business sector, there is an appropriate event that can help spread client messages and generate brand visibility, says Jennifer Collins of The Event Planning Group.

"More companies now turn to event marketing as part of an integrated marketing strategy," she adds. "PR pros would be wise to consider more events in the proposal-development stage and to grow current business." These events could include conferences, workshops, lunch/dinner meetings, or trade shows, among other formats.

"The key is to define the overall purpose for the event that will speak to the client's strategic business objectives," says Collins. "This will shape the planning for the best format to reach the desired audiences."

VNRs

What should you look for when hiring a production company for a VNR or b-roll package?
"Someone who has a wealth of TV experience, knows how to craft a news story, and can make knowledgeable suggestions about story angle and strategy," says John Gordon of Gordon Productions.

Some vendors have been in business for a long time, but their staff turns over often, he adds. It is essential to know who will actually be producing your video.

If the vendor doesn't offer the information about who they are assigning to you, ask them. "You want someone who will listen to what you want to accomplish, knows what your specific challenges are, and will work with you to meet your goals and your client's expectations," says Gordon. Most importantly, work with a producer with an extensive TV background so that your end result will be a newsworthy video piece with maximum pick-up potential.

Measurement

How can I set up a measurement program to meet our needs with little or no budget?
"The key is the quality of content you use and being consistent in measuring that content," states Eileen Rozic of Delahaye. "High cost does not equal valid measurement."

"First determine what you want to accomplish and prioritize these goals," she continues. "You may have several goals, but you will need to determine which ones bring your PR team the results or the recognition you desire."

By selecting a targeted sampling of key media, you'll get the results you need without high costs, says Rozic. By applying this consistently throughout your program, you'll get better access to more accurate results than you would from a higher volume of hodge-podge media.

Podcasting

How is podcasting different from broadcasting?
Podcasts don't go through the filter of a traditional broadcaster, notes Joe Balintfy of North American Network.

You won't have to "pitch" your podcast to a news director, assignment editor, or reporter, he adds. A podcast is searchable through sites like iTunes and basically goes straight to the listener.

Podcasts can be downloaded and played anytime, anywhere, by anyone on the Web, and can be played on various devices. However, good broadcast production techniques are essential.

"With the large number of podcasts out there, make sure your
content is clean, clever, and convincing," he advises. And if you're making a one-off podcast, it must grab the listener and hold them. If it's a series, each podcast has to be entertaining enough to capture an audience for the next episode. A podcast is not limited to any length. If the content is compelling, people will tune in for an hour or more.

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

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