Regardless of the type of event you are planning, it is likely that you will benefit from engaging with the press on some level in order to publicise your event. Knowing your audience (or market) will help you decide which elements of the press would be most appropriate to approach. Small scale events with a specific target market might be most effectively publicised through a community group based news letter or email subscription. Larger events or those with a wider broader target market would benefit more from being publicised in one or more local newspaper or magazine. You can of course publicise your event through a number press outlets but you should choose these carefully. If your event is attended by too many people outside of your target market then its impact could be greatly reduced.
Whichever avenues you choose to explore, there are a few methods of making your event as appealing as possible to them:
- Find out as much as you can about the newsletters, newspapers and/or magazines you want your event to be publicised in. Who reads them? How often are they distributed?
- Check past issues to see if they have publicised events in the past and how they covered it. An event can be publicised both before and after it takes place in the form of a write up.
- Put together a list if contacts for the publications such as Editor, Features Editor and local news writers.
- Before contacting them make sure you have all the facts about your event to hand. They will want to know what, where, when and why? You should have clear, concise answers to all of these.
- Try to come across as enthusiastic. Enthusiasm can be contagious and may be the difference between them running a story or not.
- Have an idea of what you want from them in advance. If it is appropriate suggest these ideas to them without being pushy and always be willing to negotiate.
- You will need to prepare a press release. A press release is a document that details all the important information regarding your event as clearly and concisely as possible. The more important the information, the sooner it should appear on the press release. It is essential that it should grab their attention as soon as possible.