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Hot Off the Presses! How to Promote Your Event

Posted on 8th June 2022 by Aarti Arora-McLean

Hot Off the Presses! How to Promote Your Event

Here at YOURgb, events and experience are our core focus, and what forms an important part of the success of our activities is marketing. We work with clients to strategise, create and enhance market awareness of their company, brands, products and services.

Front and foremost we are event specialists that are exceptional at increasing event line of sight, driving traffic and telling stories.

As YOURgb’s Senior PR & Brand Manager, my role exists to fully understand the marketing plans that sit behind the brands we activate for, the main objective of which is to ensure our events deliver on their key brand platform strategies. Having a public relations focus – ATL, OOH, digital, advertorials, press coverage, media management and social – we work with clients directly on all aspects of raising event awareness be that directly, or in partnership with their in situ PR agencies.

With 20 years of experience in consumer and brand PR, working across the food, drink, retail, FMCG and environmental sectors, I’m delighted to share my story with you more and provide a deep dive into my experience and what I have in-store for the near and far future at YOURgb.

THE ALL IMPORTANT TRACK RECORD

While studying for my master’s in nutrition, I interned for an organisation that had a PR agency. I was fascinated from day one. It blended together my love for writing and storytelling with my scientific training in research and understanding the consumer mindset, all with the added bonus of being creative – I was hooked!

In my early career days, I focussed on nutrition and health communications and then fully switched gears to consumer and brand PR. I’ve had the opportunity to work with:

Starbucks – launching everything from skinny lattes, pumpkin spice and holiday beverages while working on a range of campaigns including introducing Starbucks Smoothies at New York Fashion Week, turning a three-hour cross-country U.S. store closing for staff training (that’s more than 7,000 stores closed!) into a positive media story frenzy, opening the first Starbucks in the iconic Empire State Building, and managing a corporate rebranding event attended by hundreds of NYC media.

Tennent’s – introducing their first new product in a decade along with a new bottling line, attended by the First Minister of Scotland … as well as plenty of press.

The Glenmorangie Company – leading in-house communications to launch new luxury expressions for both the Ardbeg and Glenmorangie brands in national and global markets.

FOR THE LOVE OF YOURGB

I am focussed on building PR & Marketing strategies to amplify our client’s events. This can mean anything from inviting press to cover an event, arranging for a press photo call of a client’s campaign, extending an event by taking it on the road to engage with press, influencers and the general public, and content creation for a client’s website and social media channels.

WHY I SWITCHED IT UP

You may wonder what the switch is like from a PR agency to an Events agency setting. The reality is that I feel right at home at YOURgb for so many reasons! The team made me feel welcomed from day one (work is your ‘home away from home, right?!). They each arranged one-to-one coffee meet ups with me so we could learn more about one another while giving me an overview of their client projects.

I found right away that everyone is passionate and also a go-getter when it comes to offering the ‘best of the best’ in events. Everything the team proposes is a unique idea that’s tailored to the client’s brief. It feels so high-energy to be part of such a positive team that shares the same career goals and vision that you do.

Additionally, having worked within a PR agency setting I’ve planned many events – such as a pop-up event for a Scottish whisky brand and a road show to visit press offices and introduce them to client’s new products. So again, I feel right at home!

BUT WHAT EXACTLY IS ‘PR’?!

If you ask 100 PR professionals, you may likely get 100 different answers! This is because public relations has a variety of disciplines within it.

PR pros can be sector-focussed working in areas such as Finance, Healthcare, Public Affairs, Hospitality, Travel, Food & Drink, Sports, Retail, Entertainment…the list goes on and on.

And then there are specialists who can apply their skillset across any client sector. Some specialisms are Branding, Sustainability, Employee Communications, Social Impact, Influencer Marketing…and yes, the list goes on and on for these as well.

PR is comprised of strategies that ensure that the public is aware of – and understands the function and purpose of – a client, its brand, its products and its services.

This is done by blending together art and science to create newsworthy stories you read in newspapers, magazines and blogs and hear about on TV, the radio and through influencers.

EXAMPLES PLEASE AARTI!

I’m so glad you asked! If you did poll 100 PR professionals, the one thing they would agree on is at the heart of PR is storytelling. It all boils down to knowing a client inside and out and finding the stories you can share with press, influencers, their target audiences, stakeholders and the general public.

This can mean sharing a client’s story on their brand history or how they developed a product, to their news on how they approach sustainability or have invested in their local community. A good PR pro is a sleuth at sniffing out a story – what we call in the industry ‘story mining’ – and knowing how to turn it into a news hook that media will pick up on.

A few ways to help tell a story is by:

Hosting and inviting press and influencers to preview an event

Setting up a pop-up shop or travelling event in a client’s key markets for consumers to experience the brand and products directly

Distribute a press release along with professional photography and videography to convey news

Have a publicity stunt and photo opportunity such as a flash mob or costumed performers to promote a campaign

Identify organisations and influencers to collaborate and partner with to make a product stand out even further

There are many more strategies than this, but I don’t want to give all our trade secrets away!

WHY PR AN EVENT?

Some events don’t need it of course – at YOURgb we do plenty of private, internal or invite-only events that don’t require PR – but any events looking for footfall, ticket sales and/or to raise general brand awareness, need to work with a company that understands their brand goals.

For our clients, a successful campaign will always include goals that showcase return on investment. By getting a brand name in the public’s eye, we secure quality press coverage, increase traction to your website, raise social media engagement, get influencers talking about your brand, and help support your company sales.

To learn more about our marketing services, please contact YOURgb Events at 0131 558 8354 or ask@yourgb.co.uk.