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  • Writer's pictureTony Felice

Small Event PR: Shudder

I will tell you that event PR is one of the most difficult things a person can do. Too often people make the mistake of thinking that publicity replaces advertising and marketing. No amount of news coverage will ensure attendance to your event.

Nothing else replaces the tried and true ways to drive attendance through careful planning, thoughtful and compelling social media storytelling, activating and incentivizing a team of captains or board members, getting on event calendars months in advance, advertising trades or partnerships, personal emails and good old fashioned phone calls and exhaustive follow up.

Also, because Phoenix is such a large metropolitan city but each of our smaller cities and towns feel more close, there is a misconception that local news is of interest to the news media. However, there are only a few media outlets that cover the entire state, let alone local news. Plus with the volume of population here, that means you are competing with about 100 events a day, 365 days a year. Also with breaking news like the most recent tragedy, getting anyone to notice you in the news media is unlikely.

There is a certain way to pitch media events, and if you blanket pitch every outlet in town, chances are good you may get blacklisted or put on a spam list. Do it a few times and the consequence can be pretty grave. Google "how to pitch an event to the news media" and see the hundreds of links that are displayed. After a while you'll understand that there is an art form and discipline to pitching different kinds of news media: TV, radio, lifestyle magazines, guides, newspapers, etc.

Finally, too often companies wait until the last minute to ask for help and have no budget. Event PR is seven times more time consuming than any other kind of PR. That means my staff is working seven times harder but is expected to do so on a small budget. That doesn't pencil out for us so we say no about 99 percent of the time.

Still need help but can't afford us? I'm happy to talk for a few minutes or, even better, hire me to spend an hour with you three months in advance, and I'll guide you in all the things that you need to do to make your event successful. Chances are good that I'll have many ideas you have not considered yet.

All hope isn't lost. But, just thinking about it makes me shudder. #eventpr #prforevents #shudder

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