Gini Dietrich

Event Marketing: Three Ways to Get More PR Mileage

By: Gini Dietrich | May 31, 2017 | 

Event MarketingThere’s a lot that goes into successful event marketing.

It can be easy to get so wrapped up in the details of a successful event, you miss the ancillary PR benefits. 

Inviting journalists and providing exclusive executive access is the very beginning gaining PR potential from an event marketing plan.

Here are three often-overlooked ways to extend the PR shelf-life in your next event marketing plan.

Invite Micro-influencers

Your executive team may be focused on getting top-tier journalists to attend your event, but chances are they won’t.

They’re typically there to gain access to your customers, or to do some background information gathering on your company.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invite them.

But you will need to set expectations regarding possible outcomes of their attendance.

Micro-influencers, on the other hand, provide a significant opportunity for sharing your story and spreading the word about your event.

They’re significantly more likely to share their behind-the-scenes access.

And the content they create will be shared with an engaged audience who trusts their opinion.

Find out who your customers look to for advice and insights before they purchased from your company.

These are the influencers to include in your event marketing plan and provide special VIP networking opportunities.

Plan Instagrammable Moments

If you’ve been to Disneyland, you’re familiar with the Kodak moment signs around the park that alert guests to the perfect photo opportunity.

Today, conferences such as Dreamforce and Social Media Marketing World have this down to a science.

Combine a ubiquitous hashtag with some backdrops, props, or a mascot, and you’re guaranteed user-generated content.

If it’s especially clever or engages your biggest-name attendees, it may even garner a round-up article in a key industry publication.

At a minimum, attendees are likely to ham it up in the photo booth and post the photos to social.

They may even put them up on their desk back at the office, where they can become a conversation starter.

Co-create Customer Content

How often do you have a big group of your customers under one roof for a few days?

So why not make the most of it through pre-scheduling customer interviews?

Hire a video crew and set aside a conference room or suite for 30-minute video interviews.

Gather customer insights on the needs your product or services solve and how their day-to-day life has improved because of it.

You can also tap your collective customer brain trust to weigh in on key industry discussions, and create your own collective think piece.

Not only does this type of content become a valuable thought leadership asset for your brand, it helps make put your customers center-stage.

It helps them add to their industry influence and standing.

If you lack the resources for professional video content creation, there are still plenty of ways to get extra mileage out of participation:

  • Curate the best social media content during the event and turn into a video or a SlideShare
  • Design customer quote cards and share on social with the event hashtag
  • Conduct live social polls at the event
  • Livestream your keynote or parts of your event and tag your customers and their companies

The PR Afterglow of Event Marketing

Live events can be a unique opportunity to combine relationship-building with long-lasting public relations afterglow.

To make this possibility a reality, make sure the PR team plays a part in more than just the on-site shepherding of journalists.

You’ll be glad you did.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Howie Goldfarb

    This is a great post Gini. I wish we could just go back to using the term brand advocates or brand ambassadors vs influencers and other terms popping up. Not paid ones. Organic real ones. Paid is just native advertising and has a high risk of breaking the law for lack of disclosure. Though under Trump I doubt consumer rights groups will ever win any action. Your organic advocates will do everything paid ones do but willingly, authentically, and for free pretty much. No disclosure is needed unless they accepted something of value (like the trip paid for).

    My research has proven people who are very chatty within small networks are hugely influential. I found people with small twitter networks <100 people who had tens of thousands of tweets. You get a chatterbox like that talking your brand you can do really well through them.

    • paulakiger

      I agree (mostly), Howie. But as a micro influencer, I have to advocate for considering compensation, not expecting them to share an event’s story “for free.” I have spent more to get to some events than the stipend offered (knowingly) because it was that important to me to establish my recognition among other influencers (<<<— sorry) and brands, but it all adds up. Compensation doesn't corrupt my core integrity but it helps me help the brand/event by getting me there in the first place and helping me have the resources to go home and keep talking about them.

  • paulakiger

    Such great points here, Gini. Micro influencers not only have the more specific targeting you mention (and thanks for linking to that article!), but it’s possible they embrace the mission behind the event more fervently than the press / big influencers present. That passion is a key ingredient to telling the event’s story well (and keeping it going past the event).

    • I’ve always been a huge proponent of changing our thinking around influencers. Sure, Katy Perry might bring your attention to a new watch or handbag, but she’s not going to compel you to buy it. If, however, YOU said to me, “Gin, you totally have to check out this watch. It’s made in Chicago and it’s a woman-owned business.” I would not only check it out, but probably by it, too.

  • Great article Gini! 🙂