Throughout my very first week working at Fourth Day I heard the word ‘lama’ being thrown around the office quite casually – my mind went in two directions – 1. Why are they talking about a farm animal? 2. Am I missing out on some key PR jargon?! It was then that I was briefed on the team’s latest event PR project – to promote and organise an evening of meditation and mindfulness with a Tibetan Lama – things were now starting to make sense!
Being relatively new to the PR world I was keen to get on board and learn how PR is used for events. I quickly discovered just how effective it is, below are my key learnings.
It creates a buzz before
We targeted the listings publications, London press and nationals with the event information. This helped generate pre-event coverage and widen the exposure to a broader audience. Our target media was very specific as we wanted to put ourselves in the shoes of the audience so we focused largely on the ‘things to do’ sections in publications such as Time Out and The Evening Standard. In addition to this we also wrote a blog for BrokeInLondon which was Tweeted and reposted before the event, helping to create and maintain that buzz. It all makes a difference!
It generates ongoing conversations
We offered one-to-one meetings with the Lama and invited press to attend the event. The benefit of this is that it produces other types of coverage – features, interviews etc. and gives the journalist the opportunity to put their own spin on the story as they experienced the event for themselves. It also helps gain coverage post-event to keep the momentum going – you don’t want to do an event and then just let it be forgotten.
It attracts a bigger audience
The group we were working with to organise the event were students of the Martsang Kagyu School and members of the Tibetan Buddhist community. Therefore, they all had a strong network within this community that they invited to the event. This was great, but the aim of the event was to attract people who had never experienced Buddhism, meditation and mindfulness before and may otherwise never have. Therefore, making the event accessible was really important, especially for something like this where people might be scared off at the thought of meditating – we all know how snooty Londoners can be! Due our target media we were able to attract this wider audience. The result was that there were businessmen, bohemians and Buddhists all meditating together and enjoying Tibetan music, it was quite a spiritual experience.
The target was to have 40 people attend the event. The result was over 100 attendees! During the event we asked people how they found out about it and many mentioned seeing the Time Out listing or other websites articles. This was an awesome result for us and needless to say we had huge grins from ear to ear!
For more information about The Martsang Kagyu school click here.
Lizzie is an Associate Director in the Manchester team