If you are serious about PR, you will be keen to get the most out of every PR opportunity – and the best way is to take the ‘high-impact’ route wherever possible.
High-impact PR is, quite simply, exploiting multiple possibilities attached to an event. The theory is that there is a basic cost for the primary PR outlet … yet for relatively small additional cost the impact of the event can be delivered through several outlets.
This reinforces the message to some audiences while reaching others perhaps for the first time.
Consider a medium-sized manufacturer, opening a new factory. The event itself is straightforward: a few guests, a short speech, a ribbon cutting, and a lunch or cocktails. You might issue a media release too, but there’s not much news value in a typical factory opening, so don’t expect too much coverage.
Let’s throw in some ideas to add impact to the event, and its potential PR mileage.
– Start with compelling invitations, sometimes ‘teasers’ work well, too
– Ensure your guest list includes key suppliers and customers, as well as representatives of staff and, possibly, the local authority
– Invite relevant journalists and give them a good story: a strong media release, copies of speeches, fact sheets and a selection of good pictures
– Get an appropriate newsmaker to open the factory
– Use the occasion to announce something of significance, such as further investment or a product innovation
– Film the opening ceremony and use a clip to liven-up your website
– Negotiate special features in key publications
– Consider an event-linked competition, as an opportunity to develop your customer mailing list
– Use local media to express your good neighbourliness through environmental and corporate social responsibility policies
– Work with local schools, perhaps encouraging innovation in business or manufacturing, or environmental awareness.
This list is not exhaustive, but it’s long enough to show that a little bit of creativity can turn a low-impact event into a high-impact PR opportunity. And, even if you are working to a very tight budget, it’s surprising how much impact you can achieve.
David Goddin was born in the UK and educated in South Africa. He began his career on daily newspapers and trade journals, before moving into public relations consulting. He produced award-winning writing and became an Accredited PR Practitioner, the highest qualification of the Public Relations Institute of South Africa. Since his return to the UK 17 years ago he has also contributed to a number of highly successful PR and marketing communications campaigns for major national and multinational clients. He is currently also President of the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce.