A PR girl’s guide to event planning
One of the most creative and exciting aspects of working in the PR industry is the chance to plan events for your client. Events are often held to launch new products, celebrate the success of a brand or to generate brand awareness where the PR firm invites editors, bloggers and journalists hoping to get press coverage. Regardless of the reason, events must be planned efficiently and without flaws – you never want to disappoint your client!
During the preliminary planning stages, an efficient way to accomplish tasks is by splitting up your team into smaller subgroups. Teams are to be divided into press, social media-online promotion, TV-broadcast and on-site teams, for the ultimate result.
After forming cohesive-yet-separate planning teams, it’s time to get down to business by brainstorming exciting, real-life ideas. When brainstorming ideas for creative events, thinking bigger and beyond the confines of conventional event planning pays off. Although you may be in charge of planning a traditional gala for your client, thinking of a way to add a creative twist that pertains to your client’s needs is an excellent way to go above and beyond expectations. For example, if you are in charge of putting on a black-tie benefit for a society that is dedicated to saving the lives of stray dogs, have a few of the strays at the event to mingle with the guests. You never know – they may be adopted on the spot! If you pay attention and research enough successful event tactics, you will soon pick up on the trend that going bolder is better.
And while we’re on the topic of being bold, there is one arena of event planning where bolder may not be better – the event’s budget. Once a limit has been set, don’t push it. Sometimes the most creative ideas come out of having to penny pinch and use your resources in new and interesting ways! Don’t be afraid to visit flea markets to pick up eye-catching and one-of-a-kind items to use as centerpieces or decorative accents – sometimes those make for the most unique finds.
In the midst of all of the planning, prepping and working, don’t forget about your client and their needs. Plan weekly meetings with your client to check in with them from time to time during the process. Making sure that your ideas are aligning with the creative vision of your client ensures that neither of you waste time or expenses, and guarantees that the event is catering to your client’s exact needs.
Last, follow up with your client and the attendees after the big day. The best way to know that the event was a hit is by receiving genuine feedback; following up with an email to all attendees is sure to set you on the right track to event planning stardom in no time!
By: Lindsay Shoemake
Lindsay Shoemake is the founder and editor of career-lifestyle blog That Working Girl, which aims to inspire women toward success in the PR, advertising and media realm. When she’s not working, you can find Lindsay exploring her neighborhood, the Virginia-Highlands, in Atlanta and catching up with friends over a great cup of coffee.