Ask anyone who works in PR what the main skill sets are and 99% of the time you’ll receive the following answers (or versions of them at the very least): brilliant writing, creative ideas, an ability to network and meticulous event planning. PR events are particularly important for new launches. They ensure that the media are fully award of your client’s product and can also be a huge support in helping them find stockists, especially if they are a young brand.
A successful event requires planning, planning and then some more planning on top. Attention to detail is key and without it you may be left with disgruntled clients, irritated journalists and the horror of all horrors that is zero media coverage. To avoid an event meltdown here are a few starting points to bear in mind:
- Why should journalists attend?
The last thing you want is for journalists to turn up and wonder to themselves why they bothered coming when they could have just received all the information over an email. Think of things to keep everyone entertained and keep product samples under wraps until the event. Do not waste their time.
- What is the key message?
Is there anything unique about the products you are launching? Try and find a distinctive angle that will make journalists want to put your product on their page. The beauty market is one of the most saturated out there so for your product to stand a chance of getting a mention the message has to be relevant and impressive. Being new isn’t enough anymore.
- Is your event social media friendly?
Social media is essential if you want to create a buzz around your event. One useful thing to do is to create a hashtag that can be used on the day across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Also make sure that there are plenty of photo opportunities so people are more inclined to upload to social media channels alongside your hashtag.
- Have you missed anything?
It may sound silly but the smallest things can make or break an event so all bases must be covered. Is there enough seating? Where can people put their coats? What kind of refreshments will you have?
Of course there are countless more things to consider including preparing a budget, deciding who to invite and arranging the all important goody bags but these are good starting points. However there is one thing that is often left out of event advice: have fun. Despite the fleeting moments of panic that go hand in hand with launches they are definitely one of the most satisfying and enjoyable aspects of a PR career.