Exceeding Expectations through Event PR: The NRPR Way

Event PR is a specialized type of public relations that requires a different skillset and level of strategic planning rather than a traditional overarching strategy for agency clients. Why? Because event PR involves achieving very specific outcomes — pre-event buzz, event attendance, subsequent coverage, and follow-on goodwill. We can help.

What exactly is “Event PR?”

Have you ever wondered how organizations secure such solid turnout and press coverage of product launches or influencer events or charity galas or how their corporate celebrations and brand activations land in local newspapers or on the news feeds of major digital publications?

Through the concentrated efforts of strategic publicists, that’s how. Public relations activities for events (aka Event PR) are planned, purposeful and proactive. No matter how big your brand may be, the only way anybody outside of your event’s guest list is ever going to know about it is if you have a dedicated person or team intentionally building momentum, buy-in, and visibility into it with strategic partners ahead of time.

The mission of Event PR is not only to drive awareness or attendance but to cultivate a larger story arc for the event itself that helps guests, along with key influencers and members of the media, know that they are arriving at something that is much bigger than just the day or night in question.

How can a PR team successfully promote or position an event?

The very first step in any Event PR activity funnel is to clearly identify with the host organization what the goal of the event is. Public relations professionals should meet with the hosts early on to outline ideal outcomes, blueprint a timeline, brainstorm dream players in the space to include on the guest list and build meaningful messaging around the event itself.

  • If planning for a philanthropic fundraiser, what is the target donation benchmark? If positioning a convention or trade show, who are the competitors in the space, and what have they historically done really well at past events?
  • If hosting an influencer luncheon with TikTok’s top content creators, what are the KPIs and hashtags necessary to ensure actual ROI?
  • And, no matter what type of event it will be, we always, always want to understand who it will be more largely impacting (and in what way), because that’s what the public often cares most about.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions, or to provide the gritty answers.

Once all of these grander vision items have been addressed, the PR team should go to work drumming up interest with aligned third parties on a clearly outlined timeline/runway. This can include securing event write ups, social media buzz ahead of the date to drive attendance, discount codes for ticket sales, VIP invites to key media personnel and influencers, red carpet schedule and activities to maximize flow and content capture, panel planning — the list literally goes on and on.

It’s critical to ensure that once media members have been engaged (especially if they agree to attend and/or cover the event) that the lines of communication remain open, and that the PR team actively anticipates and supports any needs they may have prior to, during and after the event.

Executive teams and talent schedules can often be the trickiest part of the red carpet/speaker puzzle, so PR pros should be vigilant when organizing every detail ahead of time, including thoroughly outlining Plan B and Plan C scenarios ahead of time.

The events that really stand out are those with clearly articulated missions and those that include the less visible practices, like sending out detailed wrap reports and personalized thank you notes after the event, regardless of coverage. You want to look at the event as a PR campaign in and of itself. The whole experience needs to be seamless, positive and purposeful.

What kind of events work well with a proactive PR push?

There are a myriad of events that play critical roles in a company’s public relations, marketing and customer experience strategies. Here are a few of the most effective to put your PR weight behind:

  • Brand Launch: A strategic event that introduces, showcases, and celebrates the brand or service and what that brand or service stands for. The theme of the event should match the mission or identity with which the brand wants to be associated.
    Do you want to be characterized as a sports, luxury, or empowerment brand? Do you want your launch to be more of a mixer/networking event where people can ask their own questions and interact with your team directly, or more of a structured series of timed speeches, treats, and activities? This will help your PR team (and your separate event planner) determine the schedule, style and tone of the event.
  • Product Launch: Similar to a brand reveal or brand launch, a product launch showcases your newest creation to investors, customers, friends/family and influencers. The focus should be on the problems the product solves for its target customers, the ways in which it innovates an existing industry or the rising trends it seeks to optimize. While the venue should be appropriate, the product is the “guest of honor” on whom the spotlight shines.
  • Trade Shows: A great deal of hard work happens behind the scenes (separate from traditional event planning) to execute a measurably successful conference or exhibition at a trade show. Like all Event PR opportunities, this includes getting the word out to members of the media ahead of time and securing interest, attendance and coverage agreements in advance — but unlike the other events in this list, trade shows require more matchmaking and scheduling at the individual level to truly maximize time, interactions and impact.

PR pros should dive into research and review all confirmed attendees in order to match aligned press and/or potential partners for one-on-one interviews, meet ups and discussions while the event is taking place. If representing the organization that is throwing the event or convention, press conferences, dedicated multimedia rooms and gifting suites are a great way to make your efforts and investments go further.

Post-Launch Brand Activations:

From Pepsi to XBox to Chanel, more and more marquee brands are leveraging in-person brand activations and experiential events to connect with their customers in a new and more relatable way.

Whether you set up a small pop-up in the middle of a massive music festival or build a full-scale augmented reality playground in the middle of Central Park, these brand activations are proving unparalleled in redefining a brand image, engaging with audiences, going viral on social media and remaining relevant in the digital era.

Strategic publicists can help drive the right audiences and consumers to your brand activation, while outlining digital deliverables and KPIs for attendees that, if done appropriately, are cleverly masked as part of the fun.

Branded Lunch & Learn Events:

One time-tested event strategy for corporate organizations is the good old “Lunch & Learn” model. By inviting thought leaders, prospective partners or customers, investors and, of course, aligned media personnel, these events allow a brand to really dig into their product or service in front of a captive audience at any point in the company’s lifecycle.

The Event PR play here for publicists is more targeted toward building executive thought leadership and positioning a competitive differentiator or corporate social responsibility angle for the industry at hand and, in some cases, for the public at large.

Branded Influencer Events (if Applicable):

We’ve all seen those heavily stylized social media stories that roll through our news feeds from influencers and content creators at a meticulously decadent lunch, an elegant mansion party, or a sip-and-shop pop-up. The one thing they all have in common: branding galore. A core element of the influencer event model is to require a certain number of posts and level of engagement from those you invite to join you at the luxurious get-together, scaling in relation to their following.

Event PR professionals can help ensure those guidelines are met (and that the right influencers with the appropriate reach show up). Your PR team would also take on the task of arming those influencers with clever brand messaging and hashtags for the event ahead of their arrival to ensure maximum reach, visibility, and engagement.
How/Why NRPR maximizes strategic, proactive PR for events we partner with: An event does not occur in a vacuum. We’ve all heard the old adage,“If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Well, we want the “sounds” of your event to reverberate well beyond the people in attendance. Public relations, at its core, is about building and maintaining a positive public image for your brand.

While you may be doing remarkable things behind the scenes, public-facing events give your target influencers, audiences, and customers/end-users the opportunity to experience and get to know your brand in a much more tangible way. Attendees and media need to know about the event in advance to clear their calendars and make plans to participate.

As such, NRPR capitalizes on every opportunity to build buzz for events and work toward meeting ideal outcomes. Our team proactively pitches events to get them listed on local calendars, we place preview stories ahead of time to churn up excitement, and we are bullish about securing post-event coverage and social media posts.

We also work tirelessly to ensure every detail is planned to ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible for all involved. Because, honestly, isn’t enjoying the event one of your ideal outcomes?!

NRPR Event PR Examples:

Read more about NRPR Group’s Event PR work in these client case studies:
Los Angeles Comic Con
Unleashed LGBTQ
OUT Web Fest
Endless Road Entertainment

There are four key elements to publicity in the event business:

  • Strategy
  • Pre-Show awareness
  • Onsite management
  • Crisis management

“I can honestly say that in 20+ years in the business, NRPR is the first firm I’ve ever met that excels at all four. Led by Nicole Rodrigues’ proactive, honest and high-energy approach, the NRPR team is fully immersed in our business year-round, contributing strategy, partnership ideas, fresh approaches, fact-based analysis and meticulous execution as and where needed.

NRPR was an invaluable partner helping us navigate in the constantly shifting event environment of CV-19, both as strategic sounding board and publicity managers. I recommend NRPR without reservation, Nicole is truly peerless.”

Chris DeMoulin

CEO, Comikaze Entertainment, Inc

The NRPR Team helped me accomplish far more than I expected in my first year in business. Within weeks we were doing interviews and getting write-ups from publications—local and national. They are strategic and involved me in every step of the process. They really got to know me, my business, and my goals. That’s what makes the world of difference for effective public relations.

Wesley Smoot

Marketing Director at Unleashed LGBTQ, LLC.

Next Steps

Ready to learn more? The next step is to reach out to discuss how NRPR Group’s team of experts can increase visibility for your brand, please give us a call at (424) 421-9610 or use the Contact Us page.

We will set up a session with you to learn about your company, your challenges and goals to determine how NRPR can best help you to increase visibility and value for your next event.