You’re invited to a big event, an event that could put your small business on the map and help build your credibility, but your PR Company can’t be there and you, yes you, are the on-site contact as the client. Your eyebrows welcome beads of sweat and the to-do list has gone off the page. Who do you call? What do you do first? Where do you go?
Not to worry! The following tips serve as an organized strategy to help you get media exposure to help make your company a landmark on the map of small businesses.
Day Before Event
Call the photographer
There are few things more important than having a photographer or videographer present at your table or event. It’s important to document your successes to be able to share your exposure on your website, social media sites, and networking sites. Just as athletes do, you can use these videos to review and find areas of opportunity, whether that refers to how you pitch your company or simply how you network with people.
Using this footage throughout your website, blog and social media platforms will help increase your visibility and positive online reputation management.
Be sure to ask the photographer to bring their computer and memory stick so they can immediately transfer unedited photos onto your computer, external hard-drive, or USB stick.
Grab Press Releases
Take 15 to 20 of your most recent press release or a press release that best exemplifies your company’s recent accomplishments with you to the event. Be sure your cell phone number is at the top of the event press release so interested media can quickly refer to your exciting news and call you about the content, the event, and your company.
Bring Business Cards
This is an obvious point but one that can easily be forgotten. You may think you have some in your purse or stowed away in your suitcase from a previous trip, but check! And check twice! Be sure to have a box full of business cards on you at all times so if you run into someone on your way to the bathroom and strike up a conversation, your business card is the perfect way for someone to see your information and keep in touch. Can’t let a sale get away!
During the Event
Mentally Categorize the Press and Be Attentive
Have an idea of what press were pitched, in which categories, and who might arrive. Keep an eye out for photographers, journalists and T.V. cameras and grab their attention. If you see T.V. cameras for example, approach the cameraman and ask who the producer or reporter is because the producer or reporter will be your point of contact, not the cameraman.
Directly greet media contact upon their arrival by walking up to them and introducing yourself.
What do you introduce yourself as? The client? The company? Your title? Introduce yourself as the main point of contact and explain the series of events that will occur including a timeline and your association to the event. While doing this, give them your business card and offer a press release.
Pitch Your Company, Yourself, & the Event
After the pleasantries, offer to walk them around the event and point out what you think “might be interesting” for their viewers, readers, or listeners. With that in mind, know your audience! Who is this producer, editor, or reporter? Knowing what outlet they come from and their audience will help gauge what they are looking for making it easier for you to tailor what “might be interesting.” It also doesn’t hurt to mention who you think “would make for a great interview” by explaining their significance to the event and/or your company.
After you’ve both had a chance to walk around the event, ask when their broadcast segment regarding the event will air, when the publication will print, or when the article will post. Mention your PR team will follow up with photos and the post-event press release.
After the Event
Coordinate with your PR Company
Being in sync with your PR company will help you get the most media coverage possible. Provide media attendee details to your PR team so they can follow up as soon as possible while all the information is still fresh in the media’s mind, especially while the event is timely.
Upload hi-resolution (300+dpi) photos to your photo-sharing site and email your PR team any big event outcome details to incorporate into their post-event follow-up and pitching efforts.
Keep those tips in mind and you are sure to make your presence known at your event, and all events to come.
Lindsey Carnett is CEO and President of Marketing Maven Public Relations, Inc., a bicoastal PR and marketing firm with offices in Los Angeles and New York. Specialties include financial, lifestyle, health, Hispanic marketing and social media campaigns. Carnett can be reached via email at [email protected] or via phone at (310) 994-7380. For more information, visit www.MarketingMavenPR.com