Running events are great opportunities to meet potential new clients, make new contacts and of course showcase your expertise.
Your events may be online or face to face but the one thing you must always remember to do is to promote the event. This may sound like I am stating the obvious but you may be so busy running your business, juggling lots of different balls that the most important action gets missed off until it’s too late and you don’t have any time left to do the all essential PR for your event.
So with this in mind, I would like to give you the 7 ways to build more PR buzz for your events.
1. Get an eye catching and punchy headline or title for your event
With so much social media ‘noise’ out there you must make your event really stand out from the crowd. Have a think about the content of your course, what issues you will be solving for the attendees and try and get all of that in a bite sized chunk of a catchy headline for it.
You will then be using this headline in your PR campaign for the event as you push it out on social media. I am running an event in May and it’s all about getting entrepreneurs more visible in their space, so I have named the event:
I am #VISIBLE offline and online. How to shine in social media.
By using a hashtag, this immediately gives the title kudos and punch (in my humble opinion) plus I am using #VISIBLE in my work whenever possible as that is what I help people become – more visible.
2. Customise your link so it’s your own!
When you have created your event on Eventbrite, grab that long url (ie https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/i-am-visible-how-to-shine-in-social-media-tickets-16395525458 ) copy it then pop over to bit.ly: http://bitly.com/ and register for an account then paste the long Eventbrite link into the ‘shorten link’ box to get your shorter link.
HOWEVER don’t use this new shorter link as it says nothing about your brand / message / event. Go to the box where it says ‘custom your link’. Think about the impactful headline and try and put that into just one or two words. So my next event is this: bit.ly/YOUAREVISIBLE.
This says what it is on the tin and you will see that we are using #VISIBLE in the whole campaign, so we are being consistent with the message.
3. Time and a Plan
Before you set a date for your next event, make sure you have time to promote it. There is no point in having the most amazing must-attend event if you only have a few days to try to get the bums on seats.
If you want as many people as possible hearing about it, sharing it and signing up for it, plan at least 3 weeks ahead to get the ball rolling. Next up you need to create a PR Plan of Action – please go here to download your essential PR Plan of Action which you can work with as you create your event.
There are a few vital pointers I haven’t got space to mention in here – there are two worksheets, so make sure you go to both of them).
4. Create a shareable graphic
You may have seen that on Facebook and Twitter the posts that really stand out and catch the eye are ones with a graphic. The beauty of creating a graphic is that you can say much more on it that you can fit onto 140 characters of a tweet.
See this example: http://www.amandaruiz.co.uk/you-are-visible-offline-and-online/
On this I have managed to add the logos of the people I am working with on this event plus I am re-using the punchy headline with the hashtag that I mentioned in point No 2.
I have shared this on all the social media platforms I use (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) plus my website and it has been ‘randomly’ shared by people in my community, which is brilliant as it will be reaching people that I don’t know. It has even been picked up and shared on someone’s paper.li daily newsletter which was a lovely surprise!
5. Write a newsletter / blog post
So you have done most of the preparation for the promotion of the event – now is time to write up a blog post about the event as well as writing a newsletter that you can send out to all your subscribers.
If you don’t have any at this time, don’t worry, but I am sure you can write a newsletter that you can share with friends and colleagues, and then you ask them to share it with their community for you.
Now you have all the essential elements in place, have a go at writing up a press release about this event, again thinking about the pain points of the potential audience and how you will be helping them in your event.
It can be a simple one pager press release, but make sure that you keep it short and concise – journalists are very pushed for time and need to ‘get it’ from the minute they see your email header to the 3 bullet point summary you provide in the email.
Send the press release in the body of the email, not an attachment as they won’t thank you for clogging up their inboxes.
In terms of which journalist to target, think about the sector your event is helping out and research who writes for that area and which publications your ideal target audience reads. I will be heading over to Tech City News to create a free listing there as they run events listings. So check out where else you can get your event listed or written about.
7. Testimonials and a big T K U
When you are running your event, ask the attendees to tweet about key things they are learning or to tweet a testimonial.
You can even ask them to email you a testimonial and you will be able to use this when you are promoting your next event!
And finally, when you have done all of the above, please make sure that you go back to all the people who helped you, mentioned you, shared your event and helped promote it and say a big THANK YOU to them as I am sure you will be running more events and you will be asking for their help again in the future!
Building more PR buzz for your event isn’t rocket science – in fact it’s a lot of common sense and a little elbow grease – but it won’t promote itself either.
So make sure you set out a plan, allow some time for your PR activities and follow the steps above, and you should enjoy the sell-out crowd your event deserves!
Liked this post? Amanda gives fun, inspiring and interactive workshops where she spills the beans on the 7 Secrets on How to Get into the Press. You can watch her free PR workshop here.