How to Attract the Media to an Event

By Christina Hamlett

Being a Media Darling Takes Work

Being a Media Darling Takes Work
Photo by Christina Hamlett

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What if you had a gala event and no one came to cover it? A poor showing by the media is almost always the result of poor planning by the event coordinators. Here are some simple tips for starting a buzz and keeping things humming from start to finish.

  1. Identify what makes your event newsworthy. With so many stories competing for their attention on a daily basis, the media is more likely to favor events that have a unique slant, involve celebrities/local heroes, raise money for charitable causes, observe significant anniversaries, or are the kick-off to what will become an exciting annual activity.
  2. Determine the best date(s) to hold your event. Events targeted to families, for instance, are best scheduled on weekends and during school breaks. Be sensitive to holding your event just before a major holiday, a three-day weekend, or on the same Sunday as the Super Bowl.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the names and titles of local newspaper editors, radio talk show hosts, and television reporters. With business cards in hand, arrange to meet with them in person at least six weeks prior to your event and request their assistance in promoting it.
  4. Write a concise, one-page press release that addresses what the event is, the date and time it will take place, where it’s going to be held, why it’s significant, the cost of tickets, and where the public can go to get additional information. An expanded version of the press release should be posted on your website.
  5. Subscribe to services such as “PR Newswire” which will distribute your press information to relevant media throughout your community and across the country.
  6. Prepare a press kit for your media contacts. This should include a copy of the general press release, a brochure about the sponsoring organization, and two complimentary tickets. Include an invitation to arrange interviews or photography shoots with key players prior to the event. Make sure you include all of your contact information (phone, cell, pager, fax) to make it as easy as possible for a member of the press to reach you.
  7. Apprise yourself of press deadlines, especially with weekly newspapers. Always follow up to make sure the publication received your material but don’t be a pest and try to pin them down on exactly when and where it’s going to run.
  8. Ensure that the media always has good seats or one of the best tables if they attend your event.
  9. Follow-up with a written thank-you to whomever covers your event. So few people do this anymore that it will stand out in a reporter’s mind and make her even more receptive to cover your next event.
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About indonesianurbanfamily

We are a young, Indonesian urban family who are exposed to many things in our lives. This is what we see, hear, think, feel and desire.
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