Prepare For Launch
As PR professionals, our ultimate aim is to come up with creative ideas to generate the best positive exposure for clients to their target audiences. An aspect of the job, which also involves creativity and planning, is devising the perfect launch event for your client whether it be; a conference, a store launch, a product launch or a press show.
Preparation is key. From the initial research and drafting of a proposal, to moving forward and putting the plan into action you need to be organised and work together as a team. Whether it is one event in the year or twenty events, small or large, it is our job to make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible.
Sometimes you have months to plan, and sometimes weeks, so that’s where the challenge lies – but as PR professionals, we love a challenge.
So what is the key to planning, operating and running a successful event?
First of all, you need to get organised. We know the event’s date, time and location are fixed, so it’s a good idea to work in reverse when pulling together a plan. This way, you can be sure that the team won’t be overstretched in the days prior to the event and any activity which has a lengthy lead time can be accommodated for way in advance.
Know your deadlines like the back of your hand and remember that suppliers can be a little tardy from time to time. Plans are there to be adhered to – each day work methodically from your ‘to-do’ list and in no time at all you’ll be on the precipice of a perfect press event.
Secondly, don’t panic if anything starts to go slightly off plan. Not everything can always run to the deadline you need. This is why organisation is key – expect the unexpected.
It is also important to be alert, communicate any concerns with your team so you can quickly and efficiently put a plan B into action. The earlier you flag a potential problem the earlier you can prepare to sort it.
Communicate often with your suppliers and people you’re working with leading up to the event. It only takes two minutes to drop someone a quick message or make a phone call to check everything is on track, if they have any questions, or simply just to say thank you. People like to feel appreciated and it will create a nicer atmosphere on the day.
Once the event is over, send a thank you email. It’s good for building relationships, and you never know when you might need them for the next time! Communication is key – and communication is what we’re best at, right?
On the day of the event, it is usually a bright and early start for a PR practitioner followed by a busy day. We are looked at as the leaders, so it is good to have a read over the days schedule the night before.
Preparing for an event can feel like being on an episode of The Apprentice, we might have to source some of the most bizarre entertainment or head out to find very specific products that you feel like you’ll never find – but that’s what the job is – it’s fun and crazy and it is often these things that put a smile on people’s faces at an event.
From organising a band, having a guest celebrity or speaker, to booking photographers, radio competitions, writing news releases and most importantly inviting people and ensuring a good turnout to the event, none of this can be done without communication and team work.
At the end of the day, it is the best feeling to arrive home and know all your hard work has paid off, leaving a happy client and a happy team, until the next one!
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