Yesterday BurrellesLuce had the opportunity to host a webinar, “Tips for Planning & Evaluating Successful Events,” with Abbie S. Fink, vice president/general manager of HMA Public Relations. (Download the on-demand webinar and slides on the BurrellesLuce website).
During the webcast Abbie offered some great tips to help PR professionals drive awareness, boost organizational profits, and pitch events to the c-suite and employees.
Here are some Twitter highlights from Abbie’s presentation:
- Improve the outcome of events by using a PR plan. Your organization’s mission and goals can serve as the foundation for a strategic PR plan for your event.
- Make sure events fit your plan. Have goals to measure the success and value!
- Don’t short change your goal setting. Set the expectations in advanced, look at the calendar, and make adjustments.
- Prioritize your goals and develop objectives. Then develop strategies, tactics and tasks based on needs.
- Build relationships with spokespeople at every level. Remember to include internal communications/employees as part of your PR strategies. They are one of your best resources for planning a special event.
- When you partner with the media remember this may limit how other outlets can cover the event. Target your audience.
- To add value, implement promotions and activities to further enhance media relations efforts & establish partnerships.
- If you mix the general public and the media at an event – let your spokespeople know.
- It is easy to get lost in details. So, share responsibilities and know who does what and what time is needed.
- Remember soft costs should be accounted for when determining the COST of events.
- Think about trade and other ways to use and maximize your budget through sponsorships and in-kind donors.
- Separate specific events from special ones. Know what would be standard or regularly occurring rather than a one-time or special milestone. (Think annual Gala vs. 25th Anniversary Celebration).
- When looking for volunteers, look for people with particular qualities and who enjoy giving their time and energy. Then ensure there’s work for them, even if it is as simple as stuffing envelopes.
- Remember – if it’s mandatory than it isn’t volunteering.
- After implementation consider conducting an evaluation (e.g., survey or focus group) to determine the effectiveness of events.
- Always say “Thank you.”
Want more tips for planning and evaluating successful events? Download a copy of Abbie’s Tip Sheet for Planning and Evaluating Successful Events! And be sure to keep an eye out for an upcoming post where Abbie shares additional insights on the Q&A not addressed in the webinar.