Event planning: Best PR Practices

By: Jamie Hooker

Events and PR go hand in hand. No matter how big the event is, it’s never a bad idea to get some help on the public relations front. As an Austin-based PR firm, we think these tips are key for a successful event campaign here or anywhere for that matter:

Social media

If the organization putting on the event already has social channels, they’re a great way to get the word out about the event and excite people, as the event gets closer. For example, you can get people talking about the event through social media contests (perhaps you can give away free tickets or swag, because who doesn’t love free stuff?) If you’re creating a new social account exclusively for your event, it’s a good idea to stay active on the accounts if the event will be annual.

Create an event hashtag

Keep the hashtag short to save on characters, but make sure people can still decipher it. Having guests and sponsors use your hashtag is an easy way for people to search and find info prior to the event, as well as sharing about the event during and after it happens. If there are speakers or special guests attending your event, make sure to share their handles with guests as well.

Begin outreach early

Generally, you want to start pitching your event months in advance, starting with a “Save the Date” pitch to get it on the media’s radar. Target bloggers and influencers with large followings and offer the more notable ones free entry; they’ll mention they’re going to the event and also write a blog post about it afterwards… double PR!

Have images on hand 

Most likely reporters will ask for images to accompany your press release. Whether it’s images from the same event in the past or graphics created for a new event, it’s a good idea to have those on hand to share with the media. Sharing new graphics on the social channels will give people an idea of what’s to come, too.

Be prepared

At the event, keep business cards on hand to pass out to attending reporters, but also keep a notebook (or digital note taking capabilities) on hand. You’ll want to keep track of attending reporters and any follow up they’ve requested.