The Etiquette of Marketing—Part 1: Public Relations & Party Planning

This is the first post in a three part blog series on the benefits of marketing. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3.

In today’s dynamic and fast-evolving business climate, public relations (PR) is often a low priority. Many companies view PR as a way to react to an event or circumstance, rather than a way to propel your company into the industry and consumer spotlight. In an effort to better explain the benefits of PR, we would like to engage in  a comparison exercise looking at strategic approaches for event planning. 

A Purpose to Your Party

Why are you throwing a party? Or in the PR world, what is the message or news you want to convey? From annually recurring events (think of tradeshows and conferences like birthdays) to milestone accomplishments (mergers as a wedding), there are a variety of reasons to share news with the people you know. 

It is also important to find a balance and not crowd your calendar. Though your business likely has many accomplishments that are worth celebrating as a company, they may not always be worth the effort of throwing a party for them. Laundry day at home is an accomplishment, but you don’t invite the neighbors over to celebrate.  Selectively share the stories that your network will find informative. 

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Image courtesy of flickr.com

Who Makes the List?

Once you determined the purpose of your PR party, the next step is deciding whom to invite. Principles learned in grade school often make us feel that everyone should be invited, yet the more judiciously you build your invite list, the better your party will be.  Encompassing your entire contact list into every communication sent is like posting flyers around a busy neighborhood. Undirected communication will dilute the impact of your message–some people may read what you say but that doesn’t mean they are the right people to spread that message—and make recipients less interested in what you send.

By targeting your PR messaging, you are much more likely to garner media interest. Developing and building relationships with PR contacts is akin to building friendships. If people get invited to your PR party, they are a lot more likely to RSVP yes if they know who you are and care about what you are sharing.

Design Your Invitation

The message you are trying to convey is your invitation. Make sure to take the time to carefully craft your message with the proper information. Focus on the details that are relevant to those invited but spare extraneous information. Tailor your message to individual audiences, rather than sending a mass message to everyone your are inviting. Make it memorable and engaging—something that anyone you send it to will be glad to experience.

The Event

Your invite has been drafted and distributed. Now it’s time for the party to begin and for you to work the room. Reach out and talk to the people you have invited. Share with them why your message is important to you and know them well enough to share the parts of it that you think will be important to them. 

As applicable, make resources available to support your message. Connect people with key stakeholders available for interviews or share important graphics and background documents. These could be the little touches that make your event –and you, as the host—memorable.

Mind Your Manners

Be gracious—express gratitude to those who are interested. If you do everything right, you’ll have people talking about your party well into the future and looking forward to your next soiree.

Party Planners Can Be the Life of Your Party

Know that with your busy schedule there is no shame in hiring a party planner. We can make sure the job gets done effectively, efficiently and that you get the results you desired.  Agencies know the right people to invite and the right way to frame your PR event.  We are here to help.

Written by

Amanda brings over ten years’ experience in building sustainable and renewable energy brands. Amanda has a M.B.A. from Portland State University, a B.A. from University of Oregon and honed her green business skills with a post-graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. Amanda is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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