How to get press to attend your event

You have an amazing product or service to showcase. You’ve spent months, years in the planning, the branding, the look, the feel. You’ve taken your idea to market and now it is time to get press to notice it. From first time launches, to fashion collections, new additions to your business or a change in your brand – you are excited and you want others to be as excited as you are.

The fact is that press receive hundreds of invitations to events every week. Why should they come to your event? Well, it is all in how you engage with them, get their attention, and plan your event.

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I wanted to give you an insight into what has worked for me in getting journalists and key influencers to attend our events.

Here are my top five tips:

  1. What is your hook? Be sure to spell out very clearly what it is you are inviting the journalist to? Get to the point and be clear with times and location. Why is your event cool and why will that journalist won’t want to miss out on being there? Don’t be clever with hiding information by saying ‘special surprise on the day’ …. boring!!! If there is a Yoga display over granola, making of home made yoghurt, or kittens involved, then say so.
  2. Ensure your audience is relevant. If you are launching a fitness brand, then target fitness and fashion journalists. If you are launching a new drink, then target food and drink journalists. And be sure to spell their name correctly.
  3. Ditch the attachments. There is plenty of emails appearing in a journalist’s inbox. Be kind to them by including the invitation information and a really cool image embedded in the actual email. You will get their attention.
  4. Emphasise a rolling start time. Don’t say, ‘be there prompt for 7am’ – this just won’t work. By giving a rolling start time – ‘doors open for 7am, breakfast served from 7am until 8am, and the collection will be available to peruse and photograph for the duration of the event, with the designer on hand to answer any questions’. This will work much better for deadlines, and timings for all. It also keeps a rolling flow of guests at your event.
  5. Add to your contacts list. If you aren’t getting through, then it’s okay to give up and not pester. Instead focus your attention on who is coming. Be welcoming, get their details, and keep in touch with them. Follow up with thank you’s and continually add more names to your press contacts list. You never know who you will meet at events.

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Images taken by Michaella Knight for Biology Skin at the Laurie Nouchka press event at the Ovolo Woolloomoolloo Hotel, Sydney 2016. (See more images on my Instagram)

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