How the right event can boost your PR12th October, 2018 by Georgia Andrewes
Events provide great opportunities for businesses, whether you want to showcase a product, generate content, network to a captive audience or increase awareness around a new campaign. However, it’s important to stop and ask why you are holding an event.
The question sounds simple enough, but the answer needs to be specific with a clear goal. The reason why you’re holding an event will also effect just about every other decision you make – budget, theming, timing, guest list and food.
There are many reasons behind why an event could be the correct platform for your business goals and the four points below should be factored during the initial planning stages and before ruling out holding a potential event.
Events can provide a captive audience, they give you access to a group of people for a certain amount of time where you can weave in key messaging and showcase your brand in the best possible light. Which is why you need to have a reason behind why you’re holding the event to get them there. There’s no doubt that free alcohol and food will always help, but you need a story to provide news and content angles for media and influencers – helping them promote your brand and stand out from your competition.
Face to face interaction is more meaningful than an email or social post. We’ve become reliant on technology, knowing more about family and friends through checking up on them online than by actually talking to them. Events allow us to have meaningful interactions with consumers, media and influencers helping develop relationships and have a genuine interaction on behalf of a brand. We all have favourites, so in the case of media and influencer relationships, events can strengthen ties helping increase coverage and inclusion on an ongoing basis.
REACHING THE MASSES
You may only have 50 people in the room, but with the right PR your reach goes much further. Events let you showcase and promote to many, which is why it’s important to have the right guest list. Don’t just look at who you’re inviting, but also look into who they influence and if their audience is the right fit for your campaign or brand. Working with a PR agency to create and manage your event over an events team can help you achieve a further reach through their knowledge of the media landscape, influencer relationships and existing media contacts.
Events take courage – they put your brand in the spotlight and you need to be prepared for that. If you’re hosting an event it needs to have a competitive edge, something creative and new that gets you noticed. Aligning your brand to a certain trend, should it be mindfulness or the latest food craze, could help you reach a new audience, create a story and build brand awareness through the achieved coverage.
Events are all about strengthening your brand and with that being said promotion doesn’t begin and end at the event. It’s an ongoing endeavor that events can help with through the ability to facilitate attendee and press engagement, helping you build future relationships, spread awareness through PR reach and generate engaging content.
An example of how Richmond & Towers has brought this philosophy to life was when Beefeater challenged us to create a year-round PR campaign for the Beefeater Distillery that catered for the lifestyles and needs of various visitor segments, to help drive awareness and increase footfall in their distillery.
With the Beefeater London team, we created the London Tonic Series, a series of monthly cultural and creative events held in the distillery and featuring the best of London’s arts scene.
Flicking through our little black book of contacts, we secured a fresh mix of London’s leading figures – including spoken word artists, all-star mixologists and stand-up comedians – to host engaging, interactive and educational events that we promoted through London’s listings and lifestyle media.
The eight events also tapped into wider London trends, to secure media interest, and tied back to the quality, heritage or occasion for enjoying Beefeater Gin to ensure the brand was always at the heart of the experience.
The results from these specially crafted events highlight how a well thought out event can benefit a brand. Whilst 831 people visited the distillery across our eight events, this was amplified dramatically through the 169 pieces of secured coverage which had a reach of over 115 million – demonstrating the halo effect of PR agencies can have when running events.