Using Public Relations for Event Marketing

Public Relations or PR can be a great way to publicize your event – it’s low cost, with $300-500 including outsourcing your PR creation and distribution of your Press Release.

Before you even start on your press release activities think about what your PR goals are – what are your goals for the event (leads, brand awareness) and metrics for PR success; i.e. web site visits, tracking event attendee form requests, 800 number calls, etc. And, how many Press Releases do you want to do for the event itself?

Noise level issues – if you are participating in a large event as one vendor you have to think about the noise level relating to the specific event itself. Your PR is probably competing with other Event Sponsorship companies and you need to come up with something that is unique and compelling that motivates attendees to attend your sessions and/or engage with your company during the even.

A great event focused Press Release typically has these elements:

  1. It’s succinct and provides some kind of value for the reader; i.e. “attending our event will enable your business to much more successful or better informed about topic(s) that will help your business. It’s called “WIFM” marketing – what’s in it for me.
  2. Should compel the reader to take some kind of action: pick up the phone and call you to register for an event (if limited in size), clickthrough to your web site (with an embedded link to the registration page) – your call to action needs to be very specific.
  3. Includes something that’s newsworthy in the body of the PR – announcing your event is great but try to include something has implicit value in the actual PR itself.
  4. Has an integrated short About section about your event company that includes 2-3 sentences about the company, links to your web site and all Social Media Accounts, an email address and of course your phone number. Make sure this section is short and sweet – not 8-10 sentences long, with too many words.
  5. May or could have an embedded image or video – the latter might be a 1-2 minute introduction or overview about your event.
  6. Mentions Speakers or Special Guests that are being featured via your event and you may also want to integrate a quote form the Speaker or Guest in the body of the  press release.
  7. Incorporates and includes links and/or references to all of your social media accounts in the About Section.
  8. Has 1-3 backlinks to your site to drive search engine rankings – these links should be embedded with keywords that you want to optimize for, which are in turn consistent with your overall SEO marketing strategy.

Don’t forget about leveraging social media with your PR campaign or process. Upload your Press Release to a page on your web site and publicize it via your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

And, don’t just send out a Tweet about your PR one time – people are busy and may not see it. Rinse and repeat your social media marketing and you should even try to send a PR announcement out during an odd time (nights and week-ends as an example) to get the viewer’s attention.

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