Getting Media Coverage at Your Events (Expert Gives Advice)
Hosting a successful event in any industry, both online and in-person, requires the ability to drum up interest in your event for both attendees and the media.
Attracting the media to your event can significantly increase attendance and the amount of press and coverage your business and brand receives.
Benefits of having media at your events
Working with the media and having the media attend your event can usher in a range of benefits that may have otherwise been unattainable. Some benefits of having the media at your event include:
Maximizing your reach: Maximize your reach, both online and off, when the media attends and covers your event. The more media outlets you can connect with, the more prospective customers or followers you are likely to reach.
Financial assistance: When the media has an interest in attending an upcoming event, it is often much easier to get sponsors, which can be extremely helpful financially while planning any event.
New contacts: Having connections with the media can go a long way, especially for new opportunities and hosting future events. When you can mingle and make connections with the media that attend your event, you open the door to new potential opportunities in the future.
Tips for reaching out to the media
Reaching out to the media can feel daunting and overwhelming if you are new to the process. However, it is possible for anyone to connect with the media by keeping a few tips and guidelines in mind.
#1 Create an exciting event pitch - make it detailed!
Before sending event details to any member of the media, create an exciting and thoroughly detailed event pitch. Use succinct copywriting to inform the media of the demographics, guests, keynote speakers, and trends that your event will cover that may interest them.
Use details and avoid fluff to prevent your event from being overlooked. Here are some things to include in your pitch to the media:
- Quick event details (what, when, where)
- Highlight any speakers, special guests, contacts
- Highlight any local vendors
- Is there a charity involved?
- Will this benefit the local community in any way?
- Attach any graphics and media (previous events)
- Your target market/demographics
#2 Partner with keynote speakers, vendors, contacts
Partnering with keynote speakers and guests can also pique the interest of the media, especially if your guests are already trending or in the news for another reason.
Use quotes to send to members of the media from guests and keynote speakers you have invited to your event.
#3 Establish a social media following
Establishing a following on social media can also help increase your chances of receiving callbacks from the media or attracting the media to your event. Use many social media platforms to establish and build your social media following.
Create virtual events to showcase upcoming events that you are hosting, hoping to increase attendance and also appealing to members of the media.
Tips for getting media coverage for your event
Recently interviewed on The EventBuzz Podcast, PR expert Bill Corbett, offered plenty of advice, from sticking to succinct points to properly timing any marketing tied to an event. “Do you know what the average attention span of an American is today?“, Corbett asked our interviewer. “Six seconds, it’s the same as a goldfish.”
This quote, in a nutshell, sums up why it is essential to brush up on tips for attracting the media to any event before launching a campaign.
#1 Partner with a charity or cause
Partner with a charity to lend more credibility to your business and brand, especially if you are new to a particular market or industry. This is a great way to capture the media's attention!
#2 Partner with local vendors and organizations
Work together with locals and vendors along with charity organizations in your region to spread the word about your event and garner local support.
#3 Follow current trends to spark interest
Follow current, relevant trends in your industry that are most likely to spark interest when reaching out to the media. If possible, host guests and speakers that are also trending or more likely to attract additional guests and attendees just by being present.
Some current trends for events might include:
- Sustainability, supporting the planet
- Supporting hybrid/virtual/AR interactions
- Micro events
- In-person, interactive experience especially after 2-years of COVID-19
- An emphasis on event and guest safety and health
- Partnering with local vendors and staying within the community
#4 Advertise your event's speakers or guests
Use your event’s keynote speakers and invited guests to help promote your event while reaching out to the media.
Using the leverage, fame, and reach of an attendee can quickly help you to drum up interest and buzz for the media, resulting in a larger media turnout and thus, more exposure and reach.
#5 Understand the ins and outs of your events
Knowing the hows and whys of your event is imperative, especially when attempting to garner interest from the media. It is important to be well-versed in every aspect and angle of your event before you attempt to reach out to and connect with someone from the media.
As with any event or topic, the media will become more interested in your event as the date gets closer, versus the event being 6 months out. While it is great to prepare for an event ahead of time, proper timing can go a long way for attracting media to any event you have in mind.