event pr

Event PR: The Basics You Need to Know to Handle It Like a Pro

Ready to take your event PR to the next level? As an event planner, you need to generate enough buzz to get people excited. The right kind of buildup creates word of mouth, which carries into the venue and sets the tone. Setting a first-rate PR strategy in motion well enough in advance can build that buzz. Here are six ways you can make it happen:

1. Boost event PR with an electronic press kit.

Hosting an electronic press kit (EPK) or media kit on your website saves time for you and the press when promoting an event. The EPK could include promotional videos featuring the venue, a press release with all relevant information, quality images that represent your organization or cause, a program of speakers with excerpts from their work, etc. Tell your story through your media kit, giving both the press and attendees a taste of what to expect. Make it easy on the press by providing them with everything they’d need to cover your event.

2. Use online tools to target prospects.

Promoting your event through targeted social media marketing can help you reach the right people in the channels where most of them are spending their time. Building event PR through television or print just isn’t enough anymore.

Facebook Events

Facebook’s event function lets you announce your event to your organization’s Facebook followers and beyond. Make sure you make it a public event, so they can invite others. After you’ve created the event, follow up by regularly posting relevant information on the event page during the lead-up to create anticipation and keep it top of mind.

Facebook Ads

Use Ad Manager to target potential attendees in the local area. Once you’ve identified your “perfect attendee,” you can reach them with paid Facebook ads that can target based on residence, income, interests, gender, and age.

Eventbrite

Eventbrite is a ticketing site that boast 50 millions active users with targeted event recommendations. It promotes your events to their current base of users. The platform also offers ticket sales, as well as email invitations and social media sharing from your event page.

Yelp Events

Along with consumer reviews of local hospitality and services, Yelp allows users to post events in some regions.

Evvnt

Evvnt promotes your event throughout their network of over 5,000 sites. It can save the professional event promoter a lot of time, and even offers a free trial.

Instagram

Especially for young audiences, Instagram is a great way to build hype and show your event off at its visual best — both through paid advertising and starting your event its own Instagram account. You can even use our round-up of the five top event hashtags for maximum reach.

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3. Connect with local news.

Put together a truly unique press release to announce your event, and make sure it gets into the right hands. You can easily find contacts for local news teams online, but don’t restrict yourself to just the major outlets. Contact lifestyle papers and small town publications as well if their readership seems like a good fit for your event. Don’t rule out “amateur” contacts like local high school or college papers and their broadcast stations, particularly if your event is youth-oriented.

Along with getting pre-event press and coverage during the event, make sure you contact the events editor at local papers, too. Local event announcements are normally handled outside the newsroom and features department. Make sure you follow each paper’s guidelines for submitting your event.

local journalist doing story for event PR

4. Cultivate Relationships with Local Influencers

Well in advance of your event, cultivate influential people in your market for their support. Depending on the event’s focus, you can solicit business leaders, media personalities, and non-profit organizers. Local business or lifestyle bloggers who specialize in a field related to your event are a good choice as well, and many hold a great deal of influence — particularly in their local region. This is a no-brainer when it comes to charity events, but even with business events, you can find influential people who have a passion for your message.

5. Get lots of pre-event PR.

Offer press and influencers an event before the real deal. Schedule these special exclusive events for them a week prior to the big event as a reward for their coverage. For speaking events, offer exclusive interviews and photo-ops with well-known guest speakers. For lifestyle events, offer them private consultations or samples of products on offer. This exclusive preview doesn’t just make them more likely to attend your event, it also gives them time to share their excitement with their audiences. Just make sure give them something exciting to tout during the lead up.

6. Get the word out via online event calendars.

Some calendar listing sites can help you announce your events by filling out a simple form. Just pop in the info, and they’ll put it up on the web.

Once you’ve identified your target audience and your “perfect attendee,” identify what need your event will fill for them. Then, consider where that audience gets their content on the average day. What websites do they visit? What radio or TV stations do they listen to? What causes do they root for and what organizations do they join? Answering these simple questions will make it much easier to target your publicity in ways that deliver results.

Now that you know how to build your event PR, take your message to the web. We put together the free eBook below to help make a splash on social media. Let us know what you think about it on Facebook

Kayla Rigler

Kayla is the content guru at The PR Authority, where she is dedicated to helping with all of your PR needs. When Kayla isn’t handling content needs at her day job, she’s spending time with her husband and fur-child, anxiously awaiting the arrival of their baby!