How to get long-term return from PR events

By Gery L. Deer

Creative Director

So you’ve had a big public relations event, now what? How do you turn your hard work and expense into increased revenue?

Ribbon cuttings, book signings, anniversary celebrations, all generate new interest but the follow-up is what leads to long-term results.

Ribbon cuttings, book signings, anniversary celebrations, all generate new interest but the follow-up is what leads to long-term results.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I’m not wild about the phrasing of that statement, but it’s reasonably accurate. The point is that the point of a public relations event is to gain long-term results, not immediate return on investment. The overall purpose of doing a ribbon cutting or similar activity is to generate brand and location awareness and to enhance your credibility. Here are some tips to help you capitalize on your recent PR event:

  1. Follow-Up Early Public. If you handled your event properly, you collected information from everyone who attended, either in person or virtually. You should have offered a door prize drawing or other activity that required they fill out a contact form of some kind. Create a mailing list from that information and send out a letter or “thank you” card for everyone who came to your event and send it a few days afterwards.
  2. Follow-Up Early: Media. If you took photos from the event, write up a couple of paragraphs to go with your BEST photo and send it to the local newspaper and post it on your website. Be sure to include the names of people in the picture and always credit the photographer.
  3. Continue To Use The Mailing List. Use your newly acquired mailing list as a resource to send out how-to’s, special information on new products, or maybe a regular newsletter. Provide information about products and services you offer that solve problems or address the interests of the reader. Be Careful Here: If you overuse the mailing list for coupons, sale fliers, and so on, it will become white-noise and just get tossed. (Here is where a professional content writer can be invaluable.)
  4. Premiums always help boost post-game foot traffic. If you operate a retail store, and didn’t already provide something, offer a discount or freebie of some kind with the note. Note: If your information was collected electronically, email contact is fine, but a hand-signed piece of snail mail may go further to enhance the “touch” effect on the potential return customer.
  5. Increase Paid Advertising Volume Where Possible. If there’s any budget available at all, try to increase your paid advertising exposure locally. Keep your business in the minds of those who came to your event, but remind those who may remember seeing something about it in the media and may not have attended.
  6. Start Planning Your Next Event. There are many ways to attract attention and gain credibility through Public Relations events. Scheduling can be critical, however. You don’t want to do too many, too close together. But, properly dispersed, they can keep the public in tune to what you’re up to and your brand at the top of mind.

In short, follow up is vital. If you’re planning an upcoming milestone and would like assistance with promoting a public relations event, please contact GLD Enterprises.