Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How Your Event Can Gain Media Coverage

Do you ever wonder how some events attract so much media attention? Who invites these reporters and how do they receive coverage on highly watched/viewed media outlets? Everyone is vying for the media’s time, and simply put, there’s just not a lot to go around; so how can your event find it's way into the spotlight? Well PR insider Brittany Bevacqua can help! In her brief article she explains that the answer typically comes down to a few factors:

The event type – Are you attending a major industry conference, or a smaller event? Also, what’s the format? Is there an expo, or are attendees sitting in back-to-back sessions?

The people – Will your industry’s top dogs be there (ex. Apple or Google)? Are reporters attending and if so, are they willing to meet? How many people are expected to attend, and what are their job titles?

The spend – Do you have a booth, or are you flying solo? Are you a sponsor, or do you have your CEO speaking in a session?

The news – Are you planning a major product/service announcement? Unveiling a big partnership or customer relationship? Releasing interesting data or survey results?

Once you figure out your purpose, utilize alternative measures to gain media attention like a personal blog featured on your company's website or have major news planned/a dedicated presence at the event. You're going to need to create valuable content to gain PR. Here are a few examples of the types of content that can be of interest to reporters:
  1. The keynote address(es): Who gave opening remarks and what was the overall message? What were the noteworthy soundbites? How does what the speaker said relate back to your business? Did you agree or disagree with the comments?
  2. The conference theme(s): What was the overall event theme? What’s your take on it based on your company’s vantage point in the market? Did the conference omit important themes or issues that you’re seeing in your business?
  3. The individual sessions/panels: Which sessions or panels did you attend? Who led them? What were the top takeaways or discussions involved? Did the content resonate with you, or did you feel like something was misrepresented or wrong all together? Can you offer a different view?
  4. The attendees: Who was there? What were the more popular sessions? What questions did attendees ask during presentations? Was there a live poll, and if so, what were the results? Did you meet with your customers or partners? If so, what were they taking away from the conference?
  5. The future: What was being buzzed about as the “next big thing?” From your perspective, is “what’s next” realistic for your industry, or not? If not, why? What are the biggest opportunities in your industry? The biggest hurdles or challenges for the future?
  6. The news: During the conference, what stories are breaking in the business headlines? What are the longer, more evergreen trends? What’s hot in the trade media—financial services, healthcare and retail? How do they relate back to what’s being discussed at the conference?
  7. The assets: Have you recently created marketing materials that can support or dispel what’s happening at the conference? Do you have a small-scale survey, infographic or white paper that you can dust off and use to continue the conversation?
The key is to capture your unique perspective, provide value and offer insights that relate back to your business and industry as a whole. This may seem easier said than done but when you devour the details, you're helping to curate content, insert yourself into relevant discussions and position yourself and your company as a thought leader well after the conference ends. Read Brittany's full article here.

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