Whether you’ve been in the PR field for a few months or a few decades, you’re likely well aware of how difficult it can be to convince media to attend an event. Unless you can promise a very high-impact announcement (for example, a trial verdict) or a very high-action happening (for example, a rocket launch), it’s easy for time- and staff-strapped newsrooms to decline the dozens of media advisories they receive each day.
However, coverage is the ultimate name of the game, and our PR team regularly employs some rather unique methods to generate it both before and after a client’s event occurs. Here are a few strategies that we’ve found can be successful:
- Podcast & Radio FYIs – While a podcast or radio host may not attend your event, they might be able to help you promote it since many episodes or programs set aside a few minutes for local event announcements. As long as your event is open to the public and you give the producer enough lead time, there’s a good chance that it will be included to get your client’s name and general announcement on listeners’ ears.
- Photo Galleries – Many publications contain a section for images and brief recaps of local happenings. These are a quick and easy addition to your distribution list and, as long as you provide plenty of high-quality images (with captions!) to choose from, can offer media enticing content that fills space and requires little to no manpower or follow-up from them. As an added bonus, images often appear both in print and online, where they’re easily shareable.
- Letters to the Editor or Op-Eds – Since you know all about your client’s event and are likely attending it, you’re perfectly positioned to submit a letter to the editor or op-ed related to it. Writing it from a common citizen’s perspective can promote a client whose work and goals you sincerely support – and get your own name in print!
- Guest Articles – Many publications accept submitted articles from local freelancers. These can cover a broad topic that’s already of interest to a publication’s editor but, to the benefit of your client, feature or highlight them or their event as an example of it. This differs from a traditional byline because you author it, rather than your client. Because these take a hefty time commitment, we do advise talking through the article and getting the OK before writing it!
These methods are a bit outside the traditional event PR box. But, in a numbers game, they increase your odds and, as the following images show, did put our clients’ names, events and pictures in front of the public.
So next time that little voice in your head wonders if an unusual idea might present a potential PR opportunity, give it a listen!