Steps to Planning a Media Event and How it Can Boost Your Business
What is a media event and how can it help your business? The term
“media event” defines many marketing and selling venues, including a
book signing at a local bookstore, a seminar at a local hotel, or a
luncheon at a fancy restaurant. Whether you are an author, speaker,
consultant, or a business owner, media events can be used to grab
attention and put your book, product, or service in front of
audiences of hundreds or even thousands.
Think of that blockbuster movie or that best-selling novel or the
latest tech gadget that has captured everyone’s attention. Chances
are, these products or services have created their stellar
reputations through the media, and they all had media events to get
the publicity rolling. Movies have “world premieres,” novels have
“publication parties” and gizmos or services have “unveilings”
followed by “training seminars.”
Media events and public appearances can fall into any number of
categories and include any number of venues such as radio
interviews, television interviews, podcasts, presentations, chat
room interviews, online book tours, public forums, catered
luncheons, speaking engagements, and more.
So, how can a media event help you? Well, if you’re selling a book,
a media event can expose you to a large audience of potential
buyers. The same holds true for your products or services. Media
events are a wonderfully effective method of client/customer
acquisition because it opens up a new tier of people who are still
uncomfortable conducting business impersonally online.
If you’ve never thought about using media events to boost your
company, product or service, think again. With some research,
creativity and follow-through, you can use a media event to boost
business, sales and even credibility. Here are a few tips to get
1. Brainstorm event ideas and investigate potential venues in your
A good event idea matches its venue. You wouldn’t have a catered
luncheon at a bookstore, for example. A good place to identify
possible media event locations is through your local newspaper. Each
paper usually contains a calendar of events for the week or the
month. In fact, it’s a good idea to attend some of these events to
see what they’re like and to scope out locations. Another place to
look is your local bookstore. Most bookstores carry event calendars
or maintain a list of contact people who hold that information.
Browse the calendar listings for venues to see if a promotion fits
with their upcoming plans or works within their availability.
Sometimes it might be necessary to tailor a planned event for a
particular occasion or holiday. If there is contact information
available, make a note of it so you can pitch the appropriate person
about your event idea.
In addition, the Internet is another great way to find events. Use
any search engine to look up local, state, national events that you
can tie into your product, service or expertise.
2. Plan and schedule your event.
Decide upon the topic or theme of your event while scheduling the
venue based upon availability, cost and applicability to your topic.
Next, you need to invite some attendees, preferably members of the
media. After all, one of the main purposes of a media event is to
generate follow-up within the media by the people who attended your
event. It’s that “free publicity” that can pay for your event’s
cost. You may be able to kill two birds with one stone by inviting
attendees and coordinating some promotion in advance (see #4).
However, it’s important to be persistent without being annoying. If,
after three or four attempts with a particular media contact you are
still unsuccessful, it’s time move on to another prospect or media
3. Prepare for your event thoroughly in advance.
Double-check your dates, products and materials. People who attend
or listen to your events are participating because the advertisement
or announcement struck a chord with them, so be sure to deliver what
they came to see or hear. Don't be shy about letting them know how
to order your book, product or service. After all, that's the reason
you're involved in the event in the first place.
4. Promote your media event aggressively.
You need a positive, outgoing attitude to deal with the media. When
promoting up your event, you may have to contact the media several
times to get a mention in the paper or on the radio. Selling
yourself and your book, product or service is a numbers game. As any
salesperson will tell you, the amount of contact is directly
proportional to the amount of sales.
Invite your colleagues, friends and family to your event. If it's
within the scope of your marketing budget, advertise in the local
paper. Smaller papers may chose to write an article about your
event, particularly if they know you are an advertiser. Many papers
may even promote your event for free within their "Events" or
Whatever the venue, it is your responsibility to attract the crowd.
The venue is just that – a venue. To have a truly successful media
event, you want the audience there, so do what you can to promote
it. Send out e-mails and invitations to your contacts. And be sure
to promote it within your company, so your colleagues and employees
can come out and show their support.
5. Thank the people involved once the event is complete.
The vendors, stores, event organizers and volunteers will appreciate
your thoughtfulness. A simple acknowledgement or heartfelt thank you
sent through the mail or through email will make more of an
impression than you can imagine. If you make the right kind of
impression with them, it could lead to more media events in your
future, and if nothing else, you get to mention your book, product,
or service one last time. Repetition is important.
Media events are helpful for businesses, authors, consultants and
experts. Just be creative and open-minded! There are opportunities
to promote yourself, your company and your product or service
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