February 21, 2017

How to be a Communication Chameleon in Event Media Relations

By: Hannah Rolak

Here at Olive we work with a colorful client roster, ranging from national consumer lifestyle brands to regional events across the country. While the PR fundamentals remain the same, each scenario requires us to flex different media relations muscles. Some of the event-based clients we work with include Free to Breathe, a non-profit that hosts athletic fundraisers for lung cancer research; The Color Run, home to the happiest 5K on the planet; and Redwood Media Group, producer of contemporary art shows. Here are some of the things we do to make sure each event shines:

  1. Research, research, RESEARCH. This is the first step before taking on a new client project, and it it’s crucial when pitching events. Doing PR for events in cities as colossal as New York City and towns as tiny as Ypsilanti requires us to quickly become experts in a variety of places. We dedicate a generous amount of time to immersing ourselves in the new media market, getting to know the main regional magazines and community newspapers – pretty soon, we’re pitching the media like a local!
  2. Stay in the loop with event coordinators. When kicking off an event, we always connect with the event chair or coordinator and ask them what has and hasn’t worked in the past. Their event knowledge can provide insight and sometimes opens doors to really amazing story angles, resulting in even richer coverage.
  3. Pay extra attention to media deadlines. Events are, by nature, timely; there are windows of media opportunity before, during and even after an event, which means it’s key to stay on top of publication lead times. You don’t get a second chance for inclusion in print, so we’re extra mindful of things like editorial calendars.
  4. Be aware of time zones. We’ve had events happening in three different time zones all in the same weekend, which could, without planning, cause a heinous headache! When managing things like scheduling out calls to TV assignment desks to see if the station plans to send cameras out, we take note of the event time as well as our local time. This simple trick helps us stay on track when simultaneously managing various client events across the country.
  5. Hang on for the wild ride! Events are very fast-paced and usually go by in a flash. From pitching long leads to short leads, before you know it, the big day will have arrived. We stay on our toes and are always prepared for post-event celebrations!

Do you have an awesome event that you’d like to illuminate? Shoot us an email at [email protected] to get started!

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