How to run a successful consumer PR event

One of the best ways to raise consumer and media awareness of your new brand, product or service, is to run an event dedicated just to that goal.

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Journalists love them - it gives them the perfect incentive to leave their desks and enjoy a different experience. Many reporters will tell you socializing is the best part of their job. A well-executed PR event will attract their attention and generate the media exposure that no amount of paid advertising can achieve.

Running a PR event can be tricky, and we all know that if it flops, the effect will be just as strong, in a negative way. This means you need to get it right, following the rule of first impressions - you only get one.

As Toronto’s consumer PR specialists, we have some tips you can use when preparing your event:

Set Your Goals in Advance. What you do depends on what you aim to achieve and what you’re promoting. Is it awareness of your brand or a new line of products? Maybe it’s a new campaign, or company appointment. Each of those will require you to emphasize different things, so plan based on your objectives.

Define Your Audience. Who do you intend to reach? Choose the publications that you want to attract, and the specific journalists in them that you will be reaching out to. Don’t forget to consider bloggers, YouTube personalities and celebrities. This will give you additional valuable buzz online as well.

Plant the “Wow Bomb”. Journalists will come if the event looks promising, but it will give your invitation an edge if it is served with something extra. It can be a promise of a surprise, some free giveaways during the event or unique artistic invitations. Be creative.

Time it Well. Certain times of year lend themselves to this type of event more than others, and some less so. Avoid seasons when journalists are commonly engaged elsewhere, such as big awards ceremonies.

Choose a Theme. To give your event a unique feel, make sure it’s in total stylistic sync, starting with the invitations, decorations, and up to the follow-up media material.

Set a Budget. All consumer PR agencies in Toronto know full well creative events require careful budgeting. Everything has its cost, from printing invitatios to hiring a photographer. Make sure your event fits within your budget.

Follow Up. This one is as crucial as a thank you letter after a job interview. Drive your message home by following up with your guests. Use this opportunity to credit your brand and reiterate the event’s message while you’re at it. Give a thank you gift as guests are leaving.

Good luck! And if you wish the advice of Toronto’s consumer PR specialists, all you need is to contact us. We will make sure your brand shines and your event leaves a lasting impression.