Events are a core strategy in the public relations arsenal. A great event, with the right attendees and the right goals, can enhance your company’s reputation and drive visibility for your brand. There are many kinds of events that you can host, from large networking events to product launch parties to an intimate dinner with key customers.
Events also give you something great to talk about– they create buzz that can extend into your social media communities and they provide you with opportunities to demonstrate what makes your brand special. Be sure that you look for appropriate ways to drive event visibility. Depending on the type of event, that can include:
- Blogging or tweeting about the event before, during, and after
- Setting up a hashtag for the event so your guests can tweet about the experience while there – maybe even setting up a door prize for the person who tweets the most from the event
- Posting photos to Facebook, Twitter, TwitPic or Flickr to share the fun
- Conducting “man on the street” video interviews with guests at the event that can be posted later
- Use your social channels after the event to solicit feedback on ways to make the next one even better
When you add media into the mix
Whenever you have customers gathering for cocktails and great food, reporters are likely to be interested in attending too. Just like us, they love a good party. But they also like the opportunity to interact with your company execs and with your customers in the kind of nformal situation an event offers. Much an be learned after a few gin-and-tonics…
Be sure to invite your core reporters to important events—they may or may not write about experience, but the opportunity to spend time with them in a fun way is invaluable to building the relationship. Attending an event gives reporters an opportunity to learn more about the company and get a feel for the people and the brand.
However, it’s important to make sure your employees and executives are aware that media will be in attendance. Have a plan to make appropriate introductions so that your execs can get to know the reporters one-on-one. Remind your team that they should treat any
conversations with media at the event as “on the record.” It’s not that you don’t want to be sociable, but you want to be sure that the same rules that govern what can be said about company business in an interview are followed even in the more social circumstance of an event.
Events are a great way to drive visibility, deepen customer and media relationships, and generate excitement about the company. The impact to your company’s reputation can be significant.
Guest Blog by:
Laurie Myer, Founder