Much PR activity is event based, making event management a fundamental PR skill. Come up with a creative idea for an event, select your venue with care, and plan down to the very last detail to ensure a day to remember.
PLANNING AN EVENT
There are all manner of PR events that you may consider planning, from product launches and factory, store, or new premises openings to parties, open days, corporate entertainment, exhibitions, open days, press conferences, and media trip. Events are organized to profile-raise, build customer loyalty, enhance loyalty, and enhance reputation. Some events require no more than organizational skills; others call for creativity, too. On occasion, you will need to come up with interesting, original, appropriate ideas for memorable events. This might involve booking a usual venue – such as waxworks museum, film studios, or butterfly farm – or using a celebrity sportsperson, film star, or pop singer.
SETTING THE DATE
The date of an event may be predetermined, such as your organization’s anniversary. Often, though, you will be able to influence it. If you are able to dictate when an event will occur, aim to make it coincide with another linked or topical occasion. An event for couples may benefit from being held on Valentine’s Day, for example. Beware of competing events; it will be unfortunate if someone else’s high-profile occasion stole the limelight from your own.
SELECTING A PLANNING COMMITTEE
Small events can easily be managed by one person, but you will need the help and support of others when planning major events. Establish a planning team for significant events, involving people with the time and skills to assist. Look for helpers who are well organized and enthusiastic, and involve them at the earliest stage so that they have a stronger stake in your event’s success. It is easy when planning to overlook small but vital issues, so list what needs to be done to the last detail and ensure that a team member is given responsibility for each item.
BRIEFING KEY PARTICIPANTS
If you are asking people to perform a function at an event – such as giving an after – dinner speech or officiating at an opening – provide a comprehensive brief. This is especially important if they are unfamiliar with your company. The better informed they are, the better they will do the job. Explain, preferably face – to – face, and followed up in writing, what you expect from them. State clearly the purpose of the event, what you want them to do, and who will be there. Specify when they are to arrive, and when they can expect to leave. If necessary, include some background information on your organization, a map, and car – parking details.