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Beyond the press release: how to use events in PR


From press conferences to parties, events can significantly raise a client’s profile

Public relations is more than just writing press releases and networking with journalists.

It involves creative thinking and finding new ways to communicate just how great a company/product/service is.

Planning an event is one such alternative method and, when done right, can significantly raise the profile of a client. After all, who doesn’t love a good get together?

To get started, here are a few examples of the types of events that can be used in PR as part of an overall strategic plan.

Press conference

A press conference is a tried-and-tested method for making an announcement and connecting with the media. The key point to remember is that the announcement must be newsworthy to justify the effort of the press attending. You want the attending journalists to be impressed by the news, to ask questions, and be inspired to write about it afterwards, not left feeling like it was a waste of their time.

Site visit and tour

Organising a site visit and tour for the press is a great way to interact with journalists on a personal level and to showcase the work that a company does. Recently refurbished an entire facility with state-of-the-art equipment? Want to promote a unique service or an innovative approach to a standardised process? Then inviting the press to a site visit can be a useful method for communicating a specific message.

Opening party

There are times in life when it is essential to throw a party, and celebrating the grand opening of something new is one of those times. Think of it as making an announcement and having some fun in the process. After all, projects take time and effort and should be celebrated when they are completed. Opening parties and events should not only involve the press, but their attendance can result in coverage in the right places and the opportunity to forge new connections.

Conferences

Another way to use events as part of a PR plan is by speaking at conferences, either on a panel or by hosting an entire talk. This will position the speaker as an expert and a thought leader in their industry. While speaking engagements may not appear as glamorous as press conferences and parties, from a reputation perspective they can be highly effective, and provide spin-off content opportunities, such as press releases and blogs to maximise the exposure.

So there you have it. Not an exhaustive list but a starting point for thinking about how events can be used in PR to raise the profile of clients.


About the author

Hayley Maguire

Hayley was born the year the first mobile phone call was made. She has a BA in Journalism, an MA in Sports, Culture and Event Management, and has lived in five different countries. In her spare time, Hayley likes to explore new restaurants, practice yoga, and experiment with photography.