Latest blog entries http://www.moonlightmedia.co.uk/cafe/index.php/easyblog/latest Thu, 14 Jul 2016 11:42:03 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb “Working” PR Events http://www.moonlightmedia.co.uk/cafe/index.php/easyblog/entry/working-pr-events http://www.moonlightmedia.co.uk/cafe/index.php/easyblog/entry/working-pr-events Image 14 crowd shotI think the primary concern for any event organiser (after deciding where the ice sculpture should go) is the atmosphere of the event. A great party atmosphere is one of the hardest things to achieve but it’s very obvious when it’s absent. We’ve all been to an event where the only thing ‘going for it’ is the guests out of the door! From experience, I believe there are three elements to having a great atmosphere: a good crowd of people, a steady stream of alcohol and appropriate music. The last one, isn’t as important at business events but it’s a definite struggle without the other two.

Relationships matter

You need to persuade your business contacts that the event is worth attending (and giving up an evening for) and journalists that they will meet interesting people from their ‘audience’. The way in which you market your event is essential. Let’s face it, the last thing people want to hear, after a long day’s work, are panel discussions or industry comments. They want to relax, have some interesting conversations, perhaps do some gentle networking and have a drink with peers and industry colleagues, so it’s important the invitation reflects this. For the journalists, having a press release at the event is a good way of making it more attractive (and worthwhile attending) – don’t forget that their primary job is to cover news stories, so they are looking for interesting things to write about; by providing a press release, combined with an appropriate cross-section of the industry, you’re helping them with news, context and comment. If possible, offering an exclusive interview with a key person (CEO, project manager, etc), can make their attendance not only fun but also useful from a PR perspective.

At the event itself, connecting people is a bit like match-making. You need to talk to people and facilitate the relationships between them in the best possible way. This may mean introducing guests who have something in common to each other, or asking one of the host’s employees to look after someone. In terms of the press, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get them to the event, provided you’ve targeted the right journalists. Journalists are quite good at looking after themselves, but it’s also a good opportunity to introduce them to your client, if they haven’t met previously.

The event

The most terrifying part of the whole event, just like any party, is the fifteen minutes between the arrival of the eager first-comers and the rest of the crowd, where every minute feels like an hour - fifteen excruciatingly slow and painful minutes, worrying, running ‘what if ...’ scenarios, waiting and hoping for a good turn-out. This is the moment of no return. Everything is ready to go, any last minute hiccoughs have (hopefully) been sorted out and dealt with and all that’s left now is for the guests to arrive. From my experience, unless you’re Elton John, only about half of your invitees will show up, but when they do it is a fantastic feeling.

Now, you may think your job is done, but following up after the event with the people you have invited is key. You are likely to receive thank-yous from both your client and attendees but it is also good form to send a few thank you emails yourself.

6 tips for the aspiring PR event organiser

One common misconception is that creativity isn’t or shouldn’t be structured. Having good ideas is great, but you must organise these ideas to successfully execute them, so don’t underestimate this. Every event is different so there is no one-size-fits-all, but with a bit of common-sense and the following tips you should be good to go.

1.Define your goals, audience and theme. The event must serve a clear purpose whether it be to create awareness of the brand/company or simply to celebrate an achievement. This leads to the theme of the event, which in turn determines the target audience.

2. Create a detailed action plan. Make a thorough plan of all the steps needed to achieve your goal. Usually, in event organising, there are many elements to pull together at the last minute so it is very useful to have everything written out, with a timeline and the dependencies. Set out the steps assuming everything goes to plan, but also have a plan B - what if something goes awry? Don’t forget to double-check every detail; don’t just rely on yourself, but also on everyone in your team. Event organisation is about teamwork, and two heads are better than one. Keep every document and write everything down for back-cheImage 80 crowd shotcking when expected phases don’t happen on schedule.

3.Choose the right venue – consider your budget limitations vs. expectations and impact. The venue is essentially the first point of impact of the invitation. Not everyone can afford to have an event at such a prestigious venue as The Gherkin but choosing a venue which has some links to your client is important, as is the location. It must be easy to get to and appeal to your target audience.

4.Choose the right date – you really need to think about which date will have the most impact. It was no coincidence that the Royal Wedding was the weekend before a bank holiday. Avoiding major sporting events is also extremely important and, much as I hate to admit it, no-one’s going to turn up to your event if it falls on the same day as the Champions’ League Final!

5.Learn to love your phone (simple rule – if you don’t ask you don’t get and the more you call and ask, the better the result). Emailing is valuable but it’s not enough, calling is more personal and in these situations tends to be more effective. However, follow up all calls with a confirmation email, to ensure all parties know what they’ve agreed to.

6.During the event be proactive and stay positive. There really is no problem too great; you can deal with any unexpected hitch if you remain calm and focused. If you believe in the event and its success, so will your team.

And finally, enjoy. A good party is often influenced by the organiser’s demeanour, and you’ve worked hard to achieve a success.

 

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natasha@moonlightmedia.co.uk (Natasha Alishan) Financial PR Fri, 02 Mar 2012 07:04:00 +0000