Trade show presence, using maps as a PR tool, and more

How can I raise awareness of my client's presence at trade show events, both on-site and off-site?

Trade show presence
How can I raise awareness of my client's presence at trade show events, both on-site and off-site?

Leverage social media tools to create a “war room,” with PR, web marketing pros, and spokespeople attending the event and at corporate headquarters.

“Utilizing social media monitoring services, the ‘war room' is tasked with monitoring message boards, Twitter feeds, and blogs, responding to inaccurate chatter, and highlighting the positive coverage,” says Sean Mills, VP at Bite Communications.

A recap is then sent to the client and executives in a BlackBerry-ready format for easy reading. Then they can use the information when speaking with media, analysts, and partners at the show.

Supplementing traditional PR activities at the show with a social media war room is an effective way clients can communicate with key audiences in real time. It allows them to alert event attendees to speaking sessions and booth activities, helping correct any misinformation spreading on forums, and promoting positive coverage.

Maps show the way
Can maps be used as a PR tool?

Maps of institutions, airports, resorts, or large corporate campuses are an overlooked PR tool that people often only notice when they aren't working, says Lori Wilson, marketing director at Funnel Incorporated.

“Guiding a guest in an intuitive and welcoming way is... a function of public relations,” she says. “A good map ensures a positive and productive experience.”

Maps also offer the chance to tell a brand's story. The colors, type, and illustration style reflect an organization's personality. Anecdotes incorporated into the layout make the facility come alive.

“Perhaps the most tangible benefit of a well-designed map is the role it can play in a crisis,” Wilson adds. “An organization gains peace of mind knowing its facility is mapped out clearly and coordinated with signage to guide occupants during an emergency.”

Company media coverage

Is there a practical way to compare the prominence of media coverage of my company and two major rivals?

While there isn't a single method to determine prominence, examining a few key factors can be helpful to clients who use prominence in their analysis program, says Johna Burke, VP at BurrellesLuce.

“You should consider whether an organization was the only one mentioned, the location of the initial mention, the length of the mention, whether photos or other graphics were included, and the position of the mention in a publication,” Burke explains.

Then assign a numeric value to each factor, and add them together to produce a story prominence score.

“[These] scores are valuable in measuring your organization's media coverage against that of its competitors,” Burke says. “[But most] important are the insights you gain by comparing scores over time.”

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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