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PR At Events – Tips For Managing Clients and Media

ABTestingAs we’ve covered tips on securing press briefings in the run up to a big event in the first instalment of this blog, now it’s time to think about the logistics and minutiae of actually managing the event – arguably the most difficult bit!

So, you’ve spent hours pitching and have managed to line up a full house of brilliant press briefings for your client – and the client is thrilled.

But that’s only half the challenge – a lot can go wrong at an event.

Here are some tips for managing both clients and the media at events to help things run as smoothly as possible:

Have ALL the details. Briefing books should include all contact numbers and venues/locations for all briefings. It should also have details on who is attending from both the client and agency side, along with details of where they are staying. I would also make sure you have a local taxi number handy – you never know what might go wrong and who might need ferrying to where at the last minute!

Give journalists everything they might need. When hosting press briefings, make sure you have copies of any recent press releases (ideally on a branded USB), logos, images etc. that the journalist might need in order to file a story. If they have everything they need there and then the chance of them writing up a story is much higher.

Prep the client. Make sure you have time to sit down with your spokesperson to run through all the planned meetings/briefings. The spokesperson may have only taken a cursory glance at briefing documents, so make sure they have everything in their diaries as well as in the briefing document. Run through where they need to be and at what time. You should also discuss the individual journalists, their style and what story they were pitched so the spokesperson can tailor messaging appropriately. This also includes setting realistic expectations; is it a relationship building briefing or a briefing for a particular feature? Is it going to secure coverage – or is it part of a longer-term goal?

Have somewhere to host briefings. It’s no good securing a brilliant briefing and not having somewhere suitable to host it. Make sure there is either a quiet space or meeting room on the clients’ stand, or book an area in the press room in advance. Needless to say this all helps with making the event run as smoothly as possible.

Check out the official show publication. If you have a briefing target for the show you need to hit, then don’t forget to check in with the show publication at the beginning of the show. They usually look for video interviews to help with marketing collateral for the following year, or for video content to fill a show Youtube channel or blog – you might even be doing them a favour!

Keep an eye on breaking news. If the event is tailored to your industry then there will be relevant breaking news coming out of the show. Make sure you are checking the show news every day to see what you can newsjack and secure coverage off the back of. There’s nothing more satisfying than newsjacking your competitor’s biggest piece of show coverage!

You should have everything you need now to go out and help your client have a brilliant event, jam-packed full of top tier media briefings.

But these are all just my experiences. Do you have any top tips to add to this list on how to make your client’s event run as smoothly as possible? Let us know by adding a comment below.


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