5 golden PR rules for events…

March 4, 2014

By Rosalind Carr @Rosalind_at_O and Rose Ross @Rose_at_O

 ipexpo-exhibitionnewsIn the midst of a busy events period, the O-team have had some tips from Désiré Athow (@desireathow), Editor of TechRadar Pro, and are armed with a trusty event PR checklist at the ready!



Here are 5 handy hints for PRs looking to make the most of event opportunities with the press…

 1.      Timing is key in the run up to events – Do not wait for the last week to invite journalists to briefings- pitch as early as possible to bag a slot in their diary! With an initial conversation in advance, you’ll also have the time to get a sense of what they’d like to discuss, and can prepare accordingly if a briefing is arranged.

2.      Communicating with the press – Each journalist is different in the way they like to be pitched. For instance, we can definitely understand Désiré’s aversion to out of the blue PR calls pitching interviews with unknown companies. However, there are now so many ways of communicating, that over time, you can gage different journalists’ preferences for contact.

For instance, the old fashioned PR call may be welcomed by press you’ve been in touch with before or those in search of relevant content for an upcoming feature, but perhaps not by a journalist who works part-time, or is on a tight deadline (who may prefer to respond in their own time over email). Alternatively, if they’re a Twitter addict, there’s no harm in a quick tweet to see if they’re interested in what you have to say, you could even get involved with their current discussions if you can contribute something relevant and notable to the conversation.

Knowing your audience goes a long way.

3.      Don’t expect a feature to be written on the back of every briefing – Journalists are often short on time, and may end up writing shorter than expected content pieces. In this case, there are ways that may keep you on their radar for future opportunities. See what they’re chatting about on Twitter/LinkedIn, or download the publication’s forward features to gain a sense of their hot topics in the coming weeks and months!

4.      Unfortunately, no shows can happen – This could be for a number of reasons, but it’s always best to follow up with an offer of a phone briefing, or find out if they’re attending another upcoming event where they can re-schedule the meeting for. Consider your efforts in getting the initial nod from the journalist – better to do a quick follow up, maximising the opportunity at hand and the chance of getting exposure.

5.      Making the most of time with the press   In most cases, journalists’ busy schedules mean they’re not likely to stay at said event from start to finish. If your client is chatting with a journalist without a pre-organised briefing, communicating clear messages that will be of particular interest to them is key.

Have a snoop of the press list in advance if available, and do a little research on who’s attending and if/why they’d be interested in your client.

Overall, understanding and responding to how journalists work will maximise your press success at events.

The common link between these five pointers is preparation and flexibility –such as identifying how best to inform and engage with the journalist, pro-active follow ups, and therefore uncovering future opportunities.

And you’ll be pleased to hear we’ll also be interviewing Desire to find out more about what makes the editor of TechRadar Pro tick

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