If you’re looking to take things to the next level as an event professional, public relations can be just the solution.
It’s an exciting thing to integrate into your marketing plan and, when you’re new to the industry, it can be tempting to jump right in from the start. However, before taking the leap, it’s important to have your proverbial ducks in a row before moving forward with PR efforts. With a well-planned strategy, you’ll be sure to have your name in lights in no time!
Know your goals
As with most things, goals build a roadmap, guiding you on the next steps to make. Oftentimes, our clients come to us with broad goals of wanting to make more money or gain brand recognition. However, I challenge my clients (and you!) to break it down and be more specific. For example, instead of simply wanting your brand to be known, narrow your focus to recognition within a target audience through a certain media outlet. Instead of just wanting to make more money, think about how you want to do that as some solutions may not fit your business structure.
Ask yourself questions like:
Know your target audience
You can’t do anything until you know whom you want to reach. Look back at the events that you’ve done and think about what you loved working on and what kind of clients were the best fit for your work style. Based on that, you should have a good idea of who you’d like to work with in the future which will direct you to the right publications.
When a client tells me their target audience is made up of “couples in their 20s and 30s,” I know it’s time to dig deeper. Is there a certain geographic location that can narrow the focus? What about a specific aesthetic or style? Once we can settle on a more precise demographic, it’s all the easier to find the best outlets to reach them.
Find the right outlets
Whether you’re submitting a gorgeous gallery of event photos or you’re pitching a great story idea, it’s imperative to narrow down your focus to the best outlets. The media outlets that you are featured in will ultimately determine who is seeing your work. After determining your ideal client, do your due diligence to see what kinds of blogs reach your target audience.
Many of our clients start out with stars in their eyes, dazzled by the big name blogs and determined to get on the front page of Style Me Pretty, Martha Stewart Weddings and the like. While these are all great outlets and certainly have incredible merit, we encourage them to tighten their focus and look for niche outlets that target their specific clientele. We’ve had great success with features on themed and regional blogs, as our clients find themselves booking the right kind of couples rather than canvassing their brand too broadly.
Make sure your branding is in the right place
This means having a logo, web site, marketing materials and social media presence that really speaks to the company’s values. Getting press is invaluable, but it will put eyes on your website so it’s important that everything is up to par and fully represents who you are and what your company does. By not having the right branding message in place from the start, you risk attracting the wrong audience and experiencing a lower conversion rate when it comes to new business.
Have a streamlined system in place
Once you start getting featured online and in print, you’ll want to be able to track your return to know how successful the initiative was. You’ll be getting more visits to your websites, so it’s important to evaluate the effects through programs (Google Analytics is a personal favorite!) that can show you all of the statistics of your site’s traffic.
You also may find yourself getting more interest from prospects, which is just what you were looking for! However, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed – prepare yourself by having a system in place for client inquiries. From email templates to automatic responses, there are plenty of ways to simplify the process.
Although it may take some effort to start out, rest assured that your press push will be much more fruitful when you’ve taken the time to carefully plan out your approach.
is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive Wedding PR Education Expert for WeddingWire and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding PR, please contact her today.