How To Be Your Own Event Publicist

Dec 13 2017

by Nancy McNulty

Whether your business is participating in a Christmas artisan fair or a home tour, it is important to maximize your participation and exposure for your business. If you have a PR firm, this is something they can certainly do! But for those who are inclined to do it on your own, there are ways you can be your own event publicist.  Here are 5 tips, straight from someone who works full-time in PR.

The Southern Coterie blog: "How To Be Your Own Event Publicist" by Nancy McNulty
An event within the Parade of Homes was held giving media and bloggers our own project brochure, news release with social media handles, photos on a thumb drive and a branded cookie party favor. (Photo by Forest Home Media)

Create Talking Points

The PR rep for any event will appreciate a thorough paragraph or two on your product or contribution. Be sure and reach out to this person and provide it early. If you’re part of a big event, there will be a lot of elements to cover. A good summary paragraph will be appreciated. Remember, reporters and bloggers are always on some sort of deadline. So be sure to include all contact information including a mobile phone number. A direct line for a potential interview in lieu of a main office number can make the difference in being contacted.

Here’s a good example used in the recent Nashville area Parade of Homes announcing our client, Castle Homes, return after a decade absence (they had been busy building the Southern Living Idea House and launching the Nashville Symphony Show House!) Our goal was to highlight the historical integrity of the home’s architecture, livability, craftsmanship and a talented team.

PR Event Summary:

With over a decade of amazing building and design ideas to showcase, Castle Homes President Alan Looney announced the custom building team’s return to the fall Pinnacle Financial Partners Parade of Homes in the new Witherspoon neighborhood of Brentwood, Tennessee. Focusing on craftsmanship and livability, Castle will be unveiling in October a stunning Contemporary English Country style home inspired by English architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens. Designed by architect Kevin Coffey, C. Kevin Coffey Dwellings & Design, in partnership with Castle’s in-house design team. Furnishings and interior styling for the home are being created by award-winning designer Rozanne Jackson and her Iron Gate team. For more information, visit

Once these talking points were established, we saw them woven into news stories, blogs, television interviews and social media posts throughout the event. We also turned it into an announcement blog.

Good Photography Earns Coverage

In this era of fewer reporters and staff photographers, having your own photography can easily help you earn more coverage. In preparation for the opening of the home tour, we had the builder on site with plans and staff during several stages of construction. This was used for stories highlighting the event announcement, local craftsmen, unique architecture and more. We received numerous requests for professional photography and had a good variety of shots to submit. We also made photos available to bloggers and media for future stories.

The Southern Coterie blog: "How To Be Your Own Event Publicist" by Nancy McNulty
In progress photos like this custom door helped earn a secondary event story for client Castle Homes’ custom craftmanship in the Nashville Parade of Homes. (Photo by Forest Home Media)
The Southern Coterie blog: "How To Be Your Own Event Publicist" by Nancy McNulty
Early in event coverage, the story pitch–Castle Homes returns to the Parade after a decade absence–earned Tennessean coverage in part due to great photos we submitted of the builder at the construction site.  (Photo by Forest Home Media)


Caption Your Photos!

Please do not submit to the event coordinator or any news outlet photos without the file named. Be sure and put the person’s name, company and photographer. Don’t count on short-staffed newspapers or magazines to verify details which can be easily provided. If you establish yourself as someone who makes the process easier and meets deadlines, you’ll become a reliable and appreciated source. Also, consider providing a one-sentence description of the photo. This helps the reporter but also reinforces the talking points for your project. Here’s one example.

The Southern Coterie blog: "How To Be Your Own Event Publicist" by Nancy McNulty (photo: Reed Brown)
With an open floor plan, Castle Homes’ craftsmanship details include a hand-carved limestone mantle, hemlock fir beams and a custom floor finish with a reactive stain in the beautiful living room which opens to the covered screen porch. (Photo by Reed Brown Photography)


Hold An Influencer Event

Beginning with the Southern Living Idea House in 2013, Forest Home Media has held blogger and media events to promote client home events. We hosted one for the House for Hope Designer Show House which included a Facebook Live with national shelter magazine, Domino. Recently, an English tea themed influencer event, complete with a British docent for the English Country style home, resulted in numerous Instagram stories and posts, blogs, news stories and Facebook posts.

The Southern Coterie blog: "How To Be Your Own Event Publicist" by Nancy McNulty
An English docent, Nashville actress Jennifer Richmond, created a back story. As the daughter of the British architect who inspired the English Country Parade of Homes house built by Castle Homes, she greeted media and bloggers for the English tea preview party held the morning the home tour opened. (Photo by Forest Home Media)


Look For Seasonal Opportunities

Finally, look beyond the event in which you are participating. During the October Parade of Homes, we offered to dress the home for Christmas. Subsequently, we earned the cover of the Nashville area home magazine.

The Southern Coterie blog: "How To Be Your Own Event Publicist" by Nancy McNulty (photo: Reed Brown)
Post event, look for other opportunities to participate in photography for seasonal events. The Castle Homes’ Parade house was dressed for the holidays in October to be the cover photo for the long-time Nashville home magazine, Nashville House & Home magazine. (Photo by Reed Brown)



Nancy McNulty View More Blog Posts from this Author

Cool, new and different is the mantra driving the public relations efforts of our company, Forest Home Media. Based outside Nashville in the historic Forest Home area, as a PR rep, I love working with a variety of home lifestyle companies including the 2014 Nashville HGTV Smart Home builder and served on the PR team for Southern Living Idea House at Fontanel. A long-time Tennessee girl with a communications degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, my career began as a newspaper reporter and a state agency spokesman. Connect with me at

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