May 14, 2021
With COVID-19 restrictions mostly eased, events are back in full force in Australia. Now is the time to reignite your PR strategy to promote your upcoming event and increase ticket sales and attendance.
Government incentives such as Dine & Discover NSW have been extended to encourage your target audience to get out and attend arts, culture, and recreation events.
To help promote your event by using a PR strategy here are a few steps to consider.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I have delivered many end-to-end PR strategies for a range of events including, National Road Safety Week and Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival.
Create A Media Plan
Before you do anything else, create your plan!
Starting with the main event date, work backwards with key dates and milestones that can form the basis for your media plan. It’s essential your target audience has key information as far in advance as possible, even if you don’t have all the information when you begin promoting.
For example, if it is a festival you are promoting, when will headline acts be announced?
Work right back to when you are due to announce the dates of your event.
This timeline of events will enable you to plan your media releases but also the assets and information you may need to fulfil these notable moments. Such as, images, video content and/or quotes from key stakeholders.
If you are promoting an event or festival that happens regularly, how can you leverage past coverage and success stories?
Once you’ve got the above in place what are the further opportunities that you can envelop in your media plan? Think about the different news outlets that you are trying to attract to promote your event. Is there an exclusive interview with people in your festival line up that you can promise to a particular news network?
If a national audience attends your event, how can you form a local connection with the people coming from that location? Which brings us onto our next point…
People love a story that connects with the place they live in. Your event may be in Sydney but are there people involved from elsewhere? How can you pitch to local news outlets, a local connection?
How is your event giving back to the local community? If the event itself is an awareness campaign such as National Road Safety Week – this is your story. If your event is an arts festival – are there discounted tickets for local residents?
As well as thinking local, put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. Who are they and what makes them tick? If you are promoting a live events festival what steps are you taking to ensure its sustainability, such as biodegradable cups and bamboo cutlery?
List Your Event
There are hundreds of listings sites out there and print publications looking for interesting events to put in their ‘What’s on’ sections. Do your research and spread your event far and wide, including all relevant information such as: what, when, where, cost and a short description.
Many outlets have online forms to manage your listing submissions. However, look out for key media contacts that manage these sections and approach them with your media releases to see if they can give your event an extra push or feature. If you don’t ask the question you’ll never know! This should be done at least 7 weeks out.
When executing your PR strategy, remember to personalise your communications to achieve maximum impact.
With any event comes a need to prepare for the worst and with the current pandemic this point shouldn’t be ignored.
This is where the saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is always true. Preparing crisis management plans with clearly defined messages, a strong timeline and process, and nominating a crisis team, will set you in good stead to respond to any issue calmly and strategically.
What needs to happen if the event changes in a way that may cause complaints from your target audience? Such as, a change in the line up or, in a worst case scenario, the event needs to be cancelled...
A swift response that is authentic, timely and focuses on the right things can engage brand ambassadors and stakeholder champions, as swiftly as a bad response will turn them off.
All of the above should contribute to a successful event, and if it is ticketed hopefully a sold out one too! A PR strategy is your chance to put your brand in the spotlight.
Reach out today and let’s discuss how I can help you promote your next event!
Please note, all restrictions referenced in this article were correct at time of publication. Check with your state government site for the latest conditions.
About Louise Nealon
Award-winning Communications Director, Louise Nealon, helps purpose-led organisations and minority groups that support humanity, to be visible and heard – in order to create positive change in the world.