While the advent of social media and online advertising has fundamentally altered the public relations landscape, with these platforms now a part of the event PR tool kit, classic event PR is never dead because in this option-rich era, events offer a unique opportunity to refocus the attention of your demographic.
Events can become synonymous with something as broad as a market or as narrow as a topic you wish to highlight. In short, you cannot substitute the rewards in terms of attendance and revenue that event PR facilitates, whether it’s Egypt or any other country.
For us, events related to government are a priority, as the media is usually interested in covering such events. These events present us with a series of practical and logistical challenges, as they often arise at short notice. Competent event management requires a deft hand, meticulous attention to detail and ultimately being able to cope with changing circumstances. With each event, we take stock to see how our practices work in real-time and to observe how we can improve our execution to fit the individual needs of each client.
Knowledge is Power: Empowering Clients with Smart Solutions
The advice we give to clients varies depending on the clients themselves and is tailored to suit their vision. However, we usually start with asking them what they want to achieve with their event, the demographic they want to reach, how they perceive their event and goals in relation to their target audience and the wider community.
For big events, we need at least three weeks to implement our strategy. This involves significant co-ordination with meetings, brief drafts, document sharing, copy editing and finally the approval phase. For journalists, at least ten days notice is required with continuous follow-up.
Since the revolution, events in general have decreased, particularly social and entertainment events. The political happenings have also become an important consideration as journalists are more inclined to attend events that are in the city center. Therefore, in addition to Cairo traffic, the upshots of social turmoil have become an important consideration when planning the time and whereabouts of an event.
Successful Events: Building Partnerships between Clients & Media
There is a cultural and educational gap between clients and journalists. The two tend to possess a fundamentally different modus operandi. The media depends on access and the provision of material, while clients operate on the expectation of maximizing exposure and publicity in the press. The job of skilled public relations professional is to bridge the gap. This person is a proactive manager; media trained, has an intimate knowledge of both sides’ priorities, understands the type of journalists relevant to their industry, and works in close partnership with their client.
Author: Fatma Ahmed of GlobalCom PR Network’s Egyptian team, MEAComS.