Posts Tagged ‘budget’


HMA Public Relations: A Tip for Tuesday- Plan an Awesome Event

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

This post first appeared on HMA Public Relations blog 9.18.12 by Katie Snyder and is cross-posted with permission.

Events- groundbreakings, grand openings, festivals, fiestas…. while we all can agree we enjoy attending events, we don’t often think about what it takes to create an event. From creating a budget to deciding a theme and venue, events are notoriously difficult to plan and produce

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a webinar taught by none other than Abbie S. Fink, the queen of event planning.

How do I know this? Well, not only was I a student of Abbie’s in one of her online event classes but I also happen to know Abbie started her career in the events industry which made her the perfect person to teach the tips and tricks for planning events.

In the webinar hosted by BurrellesLuce (can be downloaded here) and moderated by Johna Burke, Abbie gave great insight on ways for PR professionals to use their communications tools to effectively promote events on all levels.

So here, take a tip or two from her webinar:

  • Develop a PR plan that defines measurable goals and objectives
  • Choose an event that meets your needs as an organization
  • Create a timeline with basic tasks and tactics for accomplishing goals and objectives
  • Relationships are key to the success of your event. Make sure to work with the right individuals to help accomplish goals and reach your target audience.
  • Team up with the media and establish partnerships to run promotions prior to event.
  • Create a budget which includes soft costs, trades and sponsorships.
  • Build a team of volunteers and others you can count on to help create your vision for the event
  • Evaluate the success/effectiveness of event
  • Thank those involved.

Events are an important aspect of any business. Whether a company party or creating a community get-together, it’s a great way to generate excitement and enthusiasm about your company, grow a business and strengthen the relationships between employees, clients and the community.

Highlights from BurrellesLuce #PRWebinar – Tips for Planning & Evaluating Successful Events

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

HMA Public RelationsYesterday 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.

Dog-Days of Summer: Perfect Time for PR Reviewing and Planning

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

August in Washington, D.C., where I work, exemplifies the “dog-days” of summer. Congress recesses and it seems everyone else does, too. The slightly slower pace allows us time to reflect on the first half of the year, and make plans for the last two quarters.

Third and Fourth Quarters Will Define PR Recovery” headlined a recent PR Week article. Debbie Friez's Dog Gus - BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Dog Days of SummerTo summarize: Just because there was an upswing in the first two quarters of the year, does not mean the industry has truly emerged from the downturn.

So how can you help your organization emerge successfully? 

1. Efficiency is a term thrown-around a lot, but it is still an important concept to PR that few have mastered. One friend, who works at a Fortune 500 company, said she wrote down everything she did for a few days. She was shocked to see she was not as good at multi-tasking as she thought. Her advice was to try to focus on completing a project before you look at the next email or tweet. This mirrors a similar idea expressed in a recent BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas post by my colleague Colleen Flood, who attended the PRSA Counselors Academy back in May and learned that people can only do one thing at a time, as our brains haven’t yet involved to truly multi-task.

2. Mary Fletcher-Jones, Fletcher Prince, said via LinkedIn, that she plans to review clients who came on, clients who left, and what they purchased. I plan to do some of this same reflection and I think it is good for public relations, sales, and client service professionals to incorporate this practice on a regular basis.

Here are some other ideas for your August refection time:

  • Review budgets for the rest of 2010 and start on the 2011 budget.
  • Look at your PR/marketing plan, and decide if you need to make some mid-year changes.
  • Take time to read industry blogs and articles. What new tactics can you learn and put to use?
  • If you find you don’t have time for good refection, you might need to review your staffing needs. Do you need to hire someone to help with new projects/campaigns?
  • Set some new personal goals for the rest of the year. A life coach once suggested posting your main personal goals where you see them often, like on a Post-it note on your desk.

Do you have other suggestions for a mid-year review? Please share some of your insights. How are you working to help your organization emerge from the recession?