Event PR – Getting the right journalists to attend
As discussed in my previous bcm blog ‘The 5 Ps of event planning’ a well-run event can produce positive outcomes for your business. Attracting key journalists can enhance these outcomes by increasing media coverage and brand recognition. In a world where media is often under pressure to produce more within less time, getting journalists to attend an event can be challenging. Here we discuss a couple of DOs and DON’T’s to make it hard for your key journalists to say no!
Be prepared and follow up – produce an interesting pitch ‘media advisory’ with the Who, What, When and Where of your event and send your invitations out early! Journalists are often inundated with requests so approaching early and following up with a call (or two) will increase your chances of getting their attention.
Make it newsworthy – provide a strong reason for them to attend. Arranging a meeting with Senior Management is not enough if they don’t have anything exciting to say. A new angle, specific focus or product launch will usually attract more attention as it gives the journalist a good starting point for a story.
Make it relevant – demonstrate you understand their publication and how your event/information will be of interest to their readers. Making it personal and highlighting how the event will benefit them shows you have a good idea of their business and how it fits with yours. Get this right and you are more likely to get a yes!
Oversell your event – you want to attract the journalists’ attention for the right reasons; they won’t thank you if the event doesn’t live up to the pitch or media advisory. Keep it clear and concise!
Waste their time – if the event isn’t right for them, don’t invite them! Trying to get journalists to attend just to increase your numbers will only risk damaging your reputation with the media and it won’t get you any increased coverage.
Promise something you can’t deliver – if you can’t offer an exclusive for each journalist then don’t offer it. They won’t thank you if they see their ‘exclusive’ published in a competitor’s magazine and you risk damaging your relationship with them.
If you consider the above Dos and Don’ts and have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from your event then attracting the right media should be easy. Tailoring your pitch to suit the individual journalist, inviting early and following up will definitely increase your chances of getting a yes!