Last Minute PR: Your Guide To Promoting An Event The Day Before 

In an ideal world, you should start promoting an event at least two weeks in advance, but we all know sometimes things don’t go as planned. Dates and times change, last-minute press conferences are called, details aren’t finalized until a couple days out, or for whatever reason, you find yourself with an event the next day that you don’t have any lead time to promote yet. Is all hope lost? It turns out, with a proper and well executed public relations plan, you can still get media coverage!  

Here are 5 things you can do to get publicity for an event the day before: 

Send a Media Alert  

Many traditional marketers have the mistaken impression that if only a few people show up to an event, the event was a failure. But that is just not true. We live in the digital age, and that means most of your new business will come from your target audience finding you on a computer or mobile screen. You want people to read about your event after it takes place. The first step towards meeting that goal is to write a media alert. A media alert gives a quick overview of the “need-to-know” details. The who, what, when, where, and why will put the event on the radar of local reporters, so that even if they can’t make it, they will be on the lookout to see how it went. Make sure that if someone prominent, famous, or important is attending, you lead with that in the headline, subject line, and opening section. You will likely get replies along the lines of: “sorry I can’t make it, but please send us pictures.” Which leads to the next important step. 

Take Pictures 

You are appealing to the local media, and they in turn, are appealing to an audience with a short attention span. Just as you need to grab the attention of local reporters, those reporters need to grab the attention of viewers who are sitting on their couch scrolling through content and they know the only way to do that is with pictures. If there’s not already a photographer at the event, make sure someone takes at least 2 or 3 pictures. That way reporters are more likely to see the story as one that will grab viewers’ attention, even if they themselves could not attend. Pictures are also great to share on social media, which brings us to the next important step. 

Post About Your Event on Social Media 

This step is an obvious one. Posting on social media will put eyeballs on your brand. There is an aspect of human nature that we want what we can’t have, so if people see an event on social media that they can’t make because of the last minute timing of the post, they are more likely to want to make the next event, or check out the business further, because they are annoyed they can’t make it this time. 

Additionally, reporters can use social media posts as a source for a post-event story. The more sources reporters have available to them, the more convenient it will be for them to easily write an article, even if they can’t make the event itself.  

Write A Post Event Press Release  

The best way to get reporters to write about the event, even if they couldn’t make it, is to send them a press release. According to Cision’s 2024 State of the Media Report, nearly 7 in 10 journalists find press releases their most useful sources for content. A press release will set up the story for them, making it easier for them to find the details they need, quotes to include, pictures, and person to contact for further questions. It’s also especially important if the event isn’t listed on your website, as reporters will need a source to cite and a place to reference the information. This leads us to the final step you will want to take. 

Add the Event on Your Company’s Website 

You won’t always have time for this step, but if you do, it will go a long way. Adding the details of the event online will make them easily accessible for anyone who wants to attend last minute, write about the article, or even learn more about what your company has planned for the future. If a reporter wants to write an article about your event, they might lose track of your email pitch, media alert, social media post, or press release in their inbox. But they can easily find your company’s website with a quick google search. Even if it doesn’t get posted until the day before, it will still give reporters a reliable source to use that will not only make it more likely, but easier for them to write the story. 

At the end of the day, there is no doubt that promoting an event the day before is not ideal. In a perfect world, your audience would already know about it the week before and get a reminder the week of. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do when you are hosting one at the last minute. With a properly coordinated public relations plan, your last-minute event can still make the news and generate the buzz your brand deserves. 

If you would like help with public relations, marketing, and advertising, feel free to contact us. We offer a variety of services like digital marketing & analytics, marketing & brand strategy, and more to small and large companies. 

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