Generate excitement for your ‘big day’ with four key steps
For some reason, weddings come in bunches for me (and, as I have been happily unmarried to one person for years, never include my own).
We went to one last weekend and are going to another in a few weeks.
Before a wedding, you get an invitation that gives you details, asks you what you want to eat, and often requires an RSVP. These days, loads of folks have websites made for the big day.
Then there are all kinds of interactions among the people going to the wedding. They chat on Facebook, the phone, Twitter, via e-mail—often with the bride and groom playing a key role in the conversation.
If you work in PR, you have probably seen the following scenario: An organization has an event. They want press, so they send a “save the date” a few weeks to a month before, then fire off one or two advisories the week of the event. They then have a bunch of juniors pound telephones in a panic the morning of the event. Most of this contact is done via unpersonalized blasts. The entire process is in sharp contrast to the invitation and lead-up process around a wedding.
Weddings are clearly much more special than your next PR opp. However, you do not need to treat them that way, dear Flakian. The dialogue and process leading up to a wedding provide a good model for the process leading up to a PR event.
How can you make your next press event more like a wedding, so you can win the day and build good relations with the media?
- Personalize the invite (a.k.a. the media advisory). Blasts to no one are as done as George W. Bush’s approach to foreign policy. Modern PR means using people’s names.
- Before and after you send the invitation, engage via social media in an unobtrusive manner. You should be following all target media on places like Twitter. Why wouldn’t you want to converse with them there?
- Be the hub of dialogue around the event. Brides, grooms, families and people in the wedding parties play this role before the big day. PR people need to do it before a media event. If you send a blast release and then go radio silent, you aren’t a hub—you’re a button-pusher.
- Make sure you provide info and contacts that drive pre-event interactions. Those RSVP cards, picking food, setting up a website address are all vehicles that drive buzz and interaction around a wedding before it happens. You can adapt these sorts of things to your PR event. Indeed, you should.
People give a damn about their weddings. They claim to do the same about their press events; somehow, though, the evidence indicates they don’t. Surely, behaviors around the former can inform actions around the latter.
Jackson Wightman blogs at Proper Propaganda.