You may have been executing several events without taking cognizance of the possibility that they would impact your organisation’s Public Relations (PR) positively. Interestingly, events and PR are birds of the same feather; they go hand in hand to accomplish similar marketing or communication needs.
According to PRSA.org, PR is a strategic communication process that builds beneficial relationships between organisations and their public. This involves designing certain activities that will enable the public to communicate with the organisation favourably based on the positive perception they have.
Your organisation’s PR is as crucial as its image. The result of ignoring it is that you are leaving the public with the wrong perception of you. In other words, you are deliberately becoming what you are not in the minds of your audience. In essence, your organisation’s public perception may be positive or negative depending on what the public sees and perceives.
However, to achieve positive PR with the use of an event, several conditions have to be considered. The events have to be designed to deliberately focus on building a relationship that is strategic and mutually beneficial to the organisation and the public.
The first step is to conduct research and learn about the current perceptions of your audience. It is always a good springboard from which to start. With this, you will be able to decipher if you are to build on the existing PR or change the PR completely. It will also help you discover a better spectrum of your public, interests, and turn-offs.
The second step will be to develop a strategic PR objective based on the research findings—PR objectives that are easily attainable, measurable, and adjustable as needed. The PR objective must also capture your strengths, your area of interest, and the interest of your public as well. The public must be able to see what’s in it for them.
The third step is to design and/or plan an event that will provide an opportunity for the objective to be achieved. The event’s programs, activities, and sequences must all contribute to the achievement of the objectives. For instance, the planned messages have to be clear and deliberate, and the public should be able to see their interest captured in each message. The activities must be those that initiate benefits for the attendees, and these benefits must align with their immediate needs and interests. Your organisation must mean what it says and say what it means without any form of ambiguity. In the midst of this, you must have a listening ear.
The fourth step is to execute the event, using the right venue and multimedia messaging, to create the right atmosphere, engage the participants at every point, and let them determine the mood of the event, making them feel in charge. At this point, the planned messages must be served at the right time, and place in the correct sequence.
The fifth step is to assess yourself and the PR efforts you made through the events by returning to the objectives to see how many of them were met. Get feedback from the event attendees and conduct sincere introspection. All results should be channeled toward improving your organisation’s PR.