By Michelle Molise — Over the years I’ve worked with many fantastic charitable organizations on events from golf outings to formal luncheons to extravagant galas. I’ve developed a list of Chicago event public relations tips from my experience. Here are five.
1) Point your guest to your charity’s website to purchase tickets. From your own site, you can still link ticket purchasers to a third party service like EventBrite, but don’t miss out on the traffic to your own site. It is also better recognition when the press lists your organization’s website in their coverage of your event, plus it is a lot cleaner looking and easier for guests to recall than a long, character-ridden third party url.
2) Feel free to list event sponsors and other partners in a press release, especially if they are enhancing the event elements in a major way. However, it is at the media’s discretion whether or not they will mention those sponsors in their coverage. You can bold and underline your sponsors until you’re blue in the face, but that doesn’t guarantee that any or all of them will get placement.
3) Don’t abandon your social media outlets on the day of the event. Although an organization’s staff can get so busy that they go into “survival mode” to pull the event off flawlessly, it is important to still communicate with guests and potential guests. If no one responds to questions like- “Are tickets still available at the door?” -then you can lose out on potential sales. It is also a good idea to interact with guests and create buzz by live Tweeting and posting Facebook photos during the set up of- and throughout- the event. Encourage check-ins and arm your staff, volunteers and guests with your official Twitter handle and a fun event hashtag for the best results.
4) Speaking of sales, be sure to identify in event communications when the deadline for advance ticket sales will be, and whether or not tickets will also be available at the door, as capacity allows.
5) Dial up the the momentum by asking your event partners, Master of Ceremonies, comped media guests, sponsors and vendors to tag your Facebook event or organization’s fan page on their own personal pages and fan pages. Return the courtesy by tagging their names or businesses on your own fan page. We’re not involved with this event, but we are impressed with this article in event trade magazine BizBash about an organization doing it right, Tickled Pink.
Next round… 5 tips on how to work with an event photographer to get the most PR opportunities…