PR Tips: Make an event of it
Attending, speaking at and hosting events are all valuable opportunities for public relations. Here’s some PR tips to make them work for your business.
Events, and their associated networking, are fabulous opportunities for you to not only promote your business but to also prove your personal public relations (PR).
My mantra is that PR encompasses what you say, what you do and what you are – and that includes how you conduct yourself at events.
Remember, these are not card-sharking opportunities. Focus on the person you’re talking to, create a relationship, and learn about them. Like any other form of PR, it takes time, but the relationships you build through networking can support you in years to come.
Speak at them
Speaking at events provides credibility and a profile boost. I regularly speak on PR and publicity topics at events that attract my ideal prospects, and it’s been a great way to meet people and share my message about how accessible PR can be for small business.
You may not receive payment to begin with, but event organisers will often offer other benefits, including running your articles in their newsletters, and allowing you a short promotion time at the end of your presentation.
"PR encompasses what you say, what you do and what you are – and that includes how you conduct yourself at events."
If this idea appeals to you, you’ll be interested in this article by Peter Chaly, which is packed with tips for getting invited to speak at conferences.
Want more articles like this? Check out the Public relations, PR section.
Hosting your own event, seminar or workshop is another great way of reaching out to prospects and customers, and potentially attracting a revenue windfall.
For example, a nursery owner and a landscape gardener could run a free talk together on the ‘Sex life of plants’ and jointly promote it to their target market. It’s a great way of adding pre-qualified people to your database and could also be promoted in the local paper.
Or you could opt to share your expertise and train other people who pay to attend your workshop or seminar.
If you do decide to run a workshop, don’t get caught out paying non-refundable venue deposits or minimum catering numbers in case you don’t get the registrations you hope for. Simply promote your workshop and ask those who register to nominate their preferred geographical venues. Then as your registrations rise, book venues in the appropriate areas.
Events don’t need to be expensive, lavish affairs. They can be run online or over the phone so participants can enjoy them from the comfort of their computer chairs while wearing their pyjamas! These are great for soloists in the education, training and coaching spheres.
Another advantage of running workshops is that once you’ve prepared the content, it’s easy to re-run them throughout the year or record them as educational products to sell on your website.
If you’re thinking about adding events to your PR and marketing mix, start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What topics could I speak on?
- What groups that include my target market and referral sources would be interested in those topics?
- What types of seminars and workshops might be of interest to my target market and referral sources?
- What other types of events would appeal to my target market and referral sources? (These might include fundraisers, sponsorships and parties).
Have you had PR success with events? We’d love to hear your PR tips, so please share them below.