Behind the Curtain: Planning a PR Event

PR Event

If you peak inside any PR event, you will find a great deal of thought backstage. From the collaterals to the script, there are many details that require attention—even throughout execution. But the heavy thinking doesn’t lie solely in planning the bits and pieces, but also in the event’s overall message. Here’s the process behind every successful PR event.

Define Your Purpose

In PR, there’s no such thing as an event for an event’s sake. It must address a specific problem, whether it’s to revive flagging sales, bring awareness to a new product, or explain your company’s side in a crisis. It also involves a metric-based goal, such as greater sales conversions or higher favorability ratings in the surveys. After you identify the two, be sure to establish the event’s timeline.

Research Your Market

Knowing your target market is another critical step. Find out their likes, dislikes, and aspirations, as well as what they thought of your previous events and campaigns. You can also use this phase to determine your own capabilities and limitations. Available manpower, experience, and resources are important elements you’ll need to consider when building your idea.

Conceptualize Your Message

Events embody a message. Without a clear guiding concept, the event can’t achieve its purpose nor deliver the expected outcomes. As an event, the idea isn’t just a carefully crafted phrase; it’s an experience. Find a hook that captures your message and market, and make sure that it permeates your entire event, from the emcee script to the lights, music, and visuals.

Invite the Right Channels

Reporters often cover particular newsbeats, so you have to find out which media persons would be interested in your story. Create a list of relevant media that can spread your message to your target audience.

Plan Every Detail

The devil is always in the details. Even the smallest press conference will require the same careful attention as a launch extravaganza despite the difference in scale. Media invitations, brand ambassadors, logistics, the venue, and the event proper must be carefully planned with every milestone noted and tracked. Digital tools have made planning easier and more convenient to monitor—even if you’re outside the country.

Execute Everywhere

Events can be the linchpin to your brand message and the center of an integrated communications campaign. With proper planning, your event can reach out to a wide audience through print, broadcast, digital, and social.

Gather Post-mortem Reports

An event doesn’t necessarily end once it’s over, as it can still persist, if not in memory, on social media and in the news. This makes post-event surveys critical to help you determine your event’s successes and failures, from which you can draw lessons for your next project. Post-event reports also include tracking the number and quality of pick-ups generated by the event.

A PR event is a large undertaking where each subtle interaction must carry your message. A half-hearted approach is simply unacceptable. If the proposition seems overwhelming, a PR specialist can provide guidance and even the needed manpower.