Brands have long turned to the hosting of media events based on the fact that they’re able to garner more press coverage than an often-ignored, generic press release. They’re especially effective for big announcements like a product launch, and are effective ways of getting journalists to try out a new product or services – for example, a chance for beauty editors to try out a new manicure method, or inviting motoring journalists to test drive the new BMW.
We’ve rounded up some tools that will help media events managers ensure that their next event is as exciting and impactful as possible:
Media List Tool
These are especially important as not all media events managers have personal relationships with all the editors and journalist they’d like to invite to their event. You’ll be able to see what publications someone works for, what their role is and most importantly, their contact details.
Medialist: One of South Africa’s most popular media contact directories. This tool has been around for over 20 years, so you can be sure that the information contained therein is accurate and trustworthy, and current. The biggest advantage to using their services it that it’s all online, and lets you customize contacts according to your needs. Users need to pay a subscription fee in order to access Medialist’s directory.
Target Media: This is also a local offering that’s hosted online. This is also a paid for service, but features functionality that allows event managers to email contacts directly from the system. After creating an account, users are able to conduct in-depth searches on thousands of up-to-date media contacts.
After an event, it’s vital that you track the amount and type of coverage your brand or client gets. This will enable you to establish how successful your event has been in garnering exposure, and is an important indication of ways in which you can change your next event in order to get the maximum amount of coverage for your clients. There are two tools you can use to do this, namely:
Google Alerts: is a free tool, and provides event managers with information in the form of emails. You’re able to conduct searches via the platform, and will then be notified about when and where your specific keyword is mentioned. This conveniently lets you conduct ongoing research without having to constantly look for mentions of a brand or client yourself.
Meltwater: an SaaS (software as a service) offering. It has integrated functions that allow you to monitor your coverage – this information is provided in the form of insights that their software has gleaned from the daily analysis of thousands of digital documents (think blogs, social media mentions, etc.)
In order to maximise the reach and coverage of your media events, it’s vital that event managers make use of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Besides the fact that you’ll be able to market your event to a huge audience, you’ll be able to track and see what people are saying about your event too. Increase your event exposure by initiating a hashtag – that way, even if you don’t have time to personally post during the event, the attending journalists will be able to and you can monitor what they are saying.
Hootsuite: media events managers can make use this to schedule social media updates, and then monitor what’s being said about your event. Hootsuite has a free, basic version as well as a more powerful paid version.
Klout: a social media tool that measures the amount of influence various social media users have. This will enable you to establish who to invite to an event, and what topics they’re influential about. Users are ranked according to their Klout score – the higher it is, the more influence they have. Even better, their platform is free for individuals and businesses alike.
RSVP & Interview Times scheduler
You can arrange the most amazing media events, but without getting the right people there, your efforts will be in vain.
The RSVP Agency: we professionally invite media delegates on your behalf, and encourage attendance by personalising their invitations in order to make them feel like a real VIP. We then follow up, in order to make sure that they received their invite. By taking care of the RSVP process, we give you time to focus on the organisation of your media events, instead of wasting precious hours managing the onerous task of RSVPs.
In addition to our RSVP services, our software enables you to schedule one-on-one interviews between the media and your spokespeople.
These are integrated software solutions for the management of PR. They’ll allow you cover all aspects of a PR campaign, from making contact with journalists, sending press releases and to monitoring the reach of your campaigns.
Vocus: integrated software designed to automate the entire PR process. It allows you to conduct a PR campaign from beginning to end, from the sending of press realises to the measurement of results. This paid for service contains all of the tools required to ensure your brand gets the maximum amount of exposure possible.
Cision: another international software solution for PR and event managers. After subscribing to their services, you’ll be able to use their tools to conduct every single aspect of a fully-fledged PR campaign. Intuitive functions simplify and streamline the process for maximum efficiency.
Distribution of Post Event Press Releases.
You’ll never be able to get everyone to your media events – some might have responded to other media events or will be on a deadline. This means it’s essential that you have tools in place that allow you to send press releases to members of the media who were unable to attend your event.
Link2media: allows you to distribute press releases to those who couldn’t attend for a nominal fee, so you’ll be able to ensure that your brand or clients gets the maximum exposure possible. A South African company, Link2media uses local and international news wires to distribute press releases for optimum impact.
Image Credit: Watch Dog