PR Pro Tips: Leveraging Community Events as PR Opportunities

PR Spotlight—Nate Martinez, RE/MAX Professionals

Nate Martinez, owner and agent at RE/MAX Professionals, is always eager to jump on a media opportunity. Whether discussing regional housing trends or providing spring selling tips, he is ready to share his insights. Nate’s knowledge of the Phoenix area, combined with this his quick turnaround and open availability to speak with media, makes him an ideal candidate for press interviews. He recently landed a three-part series on KTVK-TV in Phoenix discussing a variety of housing trends including tips for navigating the current market and the best ways to stage one’s house before selling.

Strategies to Leverage Community Events as PR Opportunities

Community events are perfect opportunities for you to engage with media as local stories are of great interest to the city’s newspapers and broadcast stations. They present a chance for you to engage with press before, during and after the event to maximize your likelihood of securing media coverage. Here are five tips to create PR opportunities at your next community event

  • Is It Newsworthy?

    • Every week there are several events happening around a community but in order to make sure the press will be interested in attending, you’ll first have to consider if your RE/MAX event is big enough for the media to want to cover. Office openings, seminars, and small community meetings don’t usually make the cut for media presence. However, large-scale fundraising events like auctions or donations to the local Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) hospital do have the clout to attract the press.
  • Spread The Word

    • Prior to the event, make sure you are spreading the word far and loud. Post on community calendars run by local news sites, hang fliers at local establishments and place ads in newspapers or community magazines. To ensure you are reaching your target attendees, allocate your budget to run ads where they are more likely to be seen. For example, if you’re looking to attract families place advertisements in the local community newspapers.
  • Engage With Media

    • There are two opportunities for you to engage press with media ahead of time. Before the event, determine if there is a larger community story that can be told and pitched out to media ahead of time. For example, if your office supports a certain cause or person with a tie to the community then that can be of interest to reporters. Secondly, about three weeks prior to the event begin inviting media to attend. Be sure to be persistent as reporters tend to lock in their attendance a few days prior to the event. Also, stay on top of broadcast newsdesks to ensure your event is on their radar and plan to call them the day of to confirm/lock in any crew that might be available.
  • Pick A Point Of Contact

    • Events have a lot of moving parts so it is essential that there is one person designated as the media contact. They need to be able to connect media with the correct spokespeople onsite, answer questions and help crews capture key video footage or photos from the event.
  • Follow-Up With Photos

    • Even if press can’t make it out to your event that doesn’t mean you’ve missed your window of opportunity for promotion. Send relevant reporters, smaller community newspapers and photo desks the top two or three photos, with captions, within 24 hours. This increases your chances of post-event coverage.
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