How To Be Your Own Event Publicist
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.
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 CastleHomes.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.