Are events still a powerful PR tool?

With this question opened Mandy Sharp, founder of PR agency Tin Man Communications her keynote at the latest Eventopedia Discovery Event at One Horse Guards, elegant and stylish venue, with views of the Thames and just walking distance from London’s iconic landmarks including London Eye, Big Ben and The House of Parliament.

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With lots of enthusiasm and passion for the industry she talked about her work with major consumer goods brands and the type of events she runs for them. The core of her strategy is to create campaigns “with heart” that the audience can emotionally connect with and evoke an emotional reaction. She suggested that only when an emotional response is achieved brand’s message will get shared.

© The MICE Blog - event management blog

Heart Monitor

She suggested that brands organise events to achieve different goals, but here cautioned that it is impossible to be everything to everyone. Before starting a campaign, she identifies key event objectives with her clients using the “heart monitor” to find out what they want to achieve. In this process, they look if they meet the following criteria:

– Is it fresh, new, inspiring and useful?

– Is it relevant and interesting to specific audiences?

– Is it great? It can’t just be ‘good’ – People only share ‘great’ things

– What is the twist? The one thing that captures imaginations and makes it unforgettable

She suggested that every event needs to appeal to more people than the ones attending and strive to achieve the Holy Grail – when the content is both newsworthy and feed worthy – and only that will lead to action.

5 Golden rules of event PR

Mandy suggested that every event PR activity has to follow five golden rules. First of all it is about knowing your audience, their demographics and what type of activity will appeal to them. It also has to be a new and innovative activity. Secondly, it is essential to have an eye for detail and is not only about logistics and organisation, but also from PR perspective – things such as branding, briefing of different stakeholders etc. Thirdly, identify picture and headline that will go to major media outlets. Fourthly, make it sharable by making it visual, using hashtags and social media platforms such as Twitter. Last but not least, evaluate you campaign – only then you can measure its success.

Are events still a powerful PR tool?

Absolutely yes, when looking at all elements discussed above and working on creating engagement, interaction and extending event life cycle, live events are one of the most powerful tools to achieve your objectives. She concluded with a quote by Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

Mandy’s keynote followed by Q&A session with representatives from Financial Times, Ernst & Young and Gorkana.

I would love to hear you thoughts and experience organising or attending PR events and what are the major differences you can identify between B2B and B2C PR events?

© The MICE Blog - event management blog

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