Leveraging Experiential Marketing to Drive PR

March 8th, 2010
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by Denise Giacin*

So, you’ve hired BurrellesLuce to monitor the media for coverage of your brand and now your boss wants you to increase your monthly impressions and media value. Now is the time to be bold and think outside the box.

Last week I attended a PRSA-NY seminar entitled, “Leveraging Experiential Marketing to Drive PR: Planning and Executing Buzz-Worthy Events in New York City” held at the Museum of Modern Art. I was excited to learn how integrating marketing and PR could benefit your brand, mainly because I knew this could attract the media like bees to honey.

Keith Green, vice president of marketing and communications at Synergy Events, was first to speak at yankeesthe seminar and explained how experiential marketing “attempts to connect consumers with brands in personally relevant ways.”

One way to achieve this connection is through product launch events where people can sample and experience your brand. Being a huge Yankees fan, one of my favorite product launches in New York City was when Herald Square transformed into a baseball diamond and Derek Jeter himself showed up to promote G2, the new drink from Gatorade. After listening to Keith Green’s presentation, I realize the event was successful for the following reasons:

  • The event was creative.
  • The look and feel of the event was relevant to the product, which is a direct result of the event planning team understanding the brand.
  • The location chosen is one of the busiest intersections in the city so the exposure was great.
  • Derek Jeter, the face of the event, is a local icon so the media had a field day.

Keith Green also gave a bunch of tips for holding an event, which I will share with you. Some of his ideas:

  1. Give yourself plenty of time. Especially in New York City, you will need time to plan, obtain permits, etc.
  2. Realistically decide if your event is possible. Brainstorm with people who know how to pull off the kind of event you are looking to successful hold.
  3. Determine what you want people to remember.
  4. Figure out where you will host the event and who will be the face of your company or brand at the event.
  5. Have a team driving people to attend your event.

With all of this planning comes the actual promoting and media coverage of the event as well. Kim Mitchell, the chief communications officer of the Museum of Modern Art, explained that media clips “are not information but validation” of the events. Kim continued on by showing press clips on events held at MoMA from New York Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, Harper’s Bazaar, and the New York Times. Kim also explained how the media have special access and times to meet with sponsors, artists, and other participants at the events they hold. Perhaps Kim is on to something here. Providing the media with the tools they need to create their pieces can lead to more and better coverage of your event.

What’s your next event going to be? How are you going to leverage experimental marketing to drive PR? If you’ve already done so, how were your initiatives successful? What would you improve upon for next time? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Bio: Prior to joining the BurrellesLuce Client Service team in 2008, Denise worked in the marketing industry for three years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Connecticut, where she gained experience interning in PR and working for student organizations. By engaging readers on the Fresh Ideas blog Denise hopes to further her understanding of client needs. In her spare time, she is passionate about Team in Training (The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s charity sports training program) and baking cupcakes. Her claim to fame: red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. LinkedIn: dgiacin Twitter: BurrellesLuce Facebook: BurrellesLuce

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