Why event PR must be socially savvy

Simon

By Jim Mortleman

Traditionally, one effective way for trade shows to raise their profile and reach new audiences has been to enlist the help of a PR agency, often at considerable expense. The PR folk generally had a raft of relationships with key journalists covering your sector, and the better ones knew how to entice them to write about your event.

Journalists were the ‘gatekeepers’ to mass exposure, and PRs positioned themselves as the ‘keyholders’ with the means to unlock those gates.

As the popularity of social media has grown, however, so the influence of the trade press has declined. The days of professionals eagerly gobbling up one or two weekly or monthly trade publications to digest all the latest happenings in their sector has given way to a world where people tuck into a wide variety of information sources, often guided by what their contacts are sharing on social networks.

Exhibition PR needs to be digital

Widget Weekly's performance seemed to be declining...

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Tweet the Press

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Here at Glean.in we love to enthuse about the benefits of social media, but that doesn’t mean we think you should ignore more traditional media in the quest to promote your event. As any marketer worth his or her salt knows, a mention by a prominent journalist or outlet covering your event’s sector can be an extremely effective way of raising your show’s profile. But how do you get them to notice you in the first place?

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How will you court traditional media?

The first thing to be aware of is that distinctions between traditional and social media are blurring at the edges. Plenty of ‘traditional’ outlets like trade magazine websites now incorporate social media elements - blogs, comment threads on stories, discussion forums, Twitter feeds and so on. Even where they don’t, some of their journalists are likely to be active twitterers. Likewise, many of the more influential figures in social media - prominent bloggers, tweeters, etc - have just as...

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