If you build it they will come. Right? Wrong. Even the most perfectly planned event will flop without appropriate promotion. Getting attention from the press is not always easy. Here are a few pointers to generate interest.
Is it the “first,” “the oldest,” “the ugliest,” “the only one of its kind”? These are all reasons for coverage. “The best,” the most fun,” and “the craziest” are not – they are your opinions. Look for the unique quality that makes your event standout and shout it from the rooftops! The press is generally not interested in an ordinary event, especially one that repeats unless there is something that makes it special.
The days of news tips landing on a reporter’s desk are over. Keep your tips fresh and your media list current. If you can get a reporter’s name, event better. Most reporters have a “beat” so be sure to do a little homework so you don’t get lost in the shuffle. Twitter can also be a great way to grab the attention of reporters. They’re often tweeting about the latest local happenings, so why not tweet them about your awesome event? Sometimes 140 characters is all you need to create a little event buzz.
Don’t send out a “press opportunity”. Send a press release. Do the writing for them so they can just edit and process the news about your big event. The easier you make it for the report, the better your chances are of coverage. Don’t wait till the last minute to reach out. While deadlines are tight, features are generally planned out in advance as opposed to breaking news. Be sure to include contact information in case they have questions!
If your event is big enough and public, you may want to also send a “Photo Op” announcement a day or two before the event in the hopes of getting photo coverage. A good press archive will certainly generate excitement for next year’s event!
Contest and ticket giveaways provide great content for media outlets and gives you the opportunity to stretch your promotional budget. A great by-product of this tactic is the data you receive from folks who enter the content.
Every publication, radio station, news station and tourist bureau offers a regional “things to do list” either monthly or weekly. Find out who they are and figure out a way to get listed! The best part of these lists is that people love to share them on Twitter and Facebook. In addition, you may also find a calendar of events like the one at The Express-Times, a local newspaper in Pennsylvania, or KDLT TV in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Here are some great tips from Technori about how to write an amazing press release, including a format to follow.
If you follow these tips, you will stand a good chance of getting the press to your event. Of course, you want to make sure you have the ability to register people for your events, so what better way to do it than using WhenNow?