Best bang for the PR buck? Meetings! Five reasons why.
|April 18, 2012||Posted by Anharris under Communications, PR, Thought Leadership|
by Edna Kaplan, Guest Blogger
Clients often ask us how they can get the biggest bang for their PR dollars. While specific goals require specific strategies, many companies miss one of the best opportunities to optimize their communications ROI: PR representation at meetings. It’s one of the most cost-effective expenditures you can make–because an effective PR person can get so much done in a limited amount of time.
Here are five top reasons why PR representation at meetings makes sense:
1. Developing relationships with key reporters
The reporters who follow your area of specialization attend your meetings, providing you with the very best opportunity to get to know them. Reaching out, arranging to meet reporters face-to-face to provide them with industry knowledge builds coveted long-lasting relationships that can benefit you and your company in numerous ways.
2. Increasing the number of people you reach and influence
Having a PR professional in the press room – prepared with meeting-specific news and information about your company and trends in the industry – boosts the chances that your company will be included in meeting-news coverage as well as in articles in the coming year. News coverage reinforces your messaging and reaches potential customers or clients who did not visit your booth.
3. Encouraging booth visits
There is nothing more deflating than seeing the booth next door burst at the seams with visitors while everyone in your booth is wearing a company badge. Various PR techniques and on-site social media use can increase booth traffic – and leads.
4. Pointing reporters to specific presentations
Reporters and analysts covering trade shows are looking for the meeting’s biggest news stories, but they’re also seeking insights for future coverage. They cannot attend every session, so it’s make them aware of specific presentations or posters, and have them meet with participants who use your product. We called to remind a New York Times reporter about presentation we had suggested he attend. He asked for– and we quickly provided – a physician to discuss how doctors use our client’s technology in clinical practice.
5. Launching products
A meeting attended by opinion leaders and media is the very best place to launch a new product. We persuaded a skeptical startup in a crowded market to launch its medical device at a large medical meeting. Coverage from the meeting by a publication read by investors helped attract post-meeting site visits by three of the largest U.S. medical companies. A pipeline of articles arranged during the meeting by the PR representative ensured continued media coverage and differentiation throughout the year.
Trade shows provide myriad opportunities to deliver your key messages directly or through the media to critical opinion leaders, customers and prospects. With judicious use of PR, meetings present a golden opportunity to strengthen the company’s image, heighten awareness of products and services and build important industry-wide relationships.
Edna Kaplan, a HarrisCom collaborator, focuses on speeding the adoption of healthcare products and services.