With my sub focus on virtual events, I’ve been receiving media pitches to attend these type of events. Inviting media and bloggers to attend your event – whether virtual or physical – is a great way to drive awareness of your event.
The challenge? Attending any event takes time out of a busy schedule and away from billable work. Like any media pitch, you have to clearly outline the benefits to entice the blogger or reporter to take time out to attend. This can be a keynote from a industry expert who rarely speaks, details of a research report being revealed for the first time or seeing how producers are using these solutions in innovative ways.
Two media pitches particularly caught my attention for their different approaches. Here is the first I received:
Subject: Hope you’ll join us on 6/16 (note email was sent with only a few day’s notice)
Hi Donna and Cece,
Your site is pretty cool – it’s great that you are aggregating VE content in one place. I hope you will consider joining us this Thursday for the [virtual event]. We create this VE as a way to push the envelope in online engagement… If you have time to drop in, please tell us what you think.
Curious, I asked how the event is pushing the envelope in online engagement beyond just great visuals. The response I received was:
Great question! We’re trying something new in the pre-show to push interactivity and engagement – we’ll see how it works.
Ok, as someone who has expressed interest in learning more about the event, this response did irk me a bit. With that said, though I had no information about the “innovation,” I was still curious. I responded asking for more details about the nature of the interactivity and engagement, promising not to write or tweet about it before the event. Here is the response:
I’d rather not share it in advance. It’s not that it’s a huge innovation, I just don’t feel right sharing the concept before Thursday as my colleague [XXX] is leading that part and we haven’t discussed his thoughts on sharing with key industry folks. I’ll chat with him and let you know.
I never heard back from the person and I subsequently didn’t attend the event. By setting proper expectations upfront, I would’ve been more inclined to take a peek at the event. Furthermore, by sending it literally a few days in advance of the event, the organizer was inconsiderate of my time.
Here is a another pitch we received the same week. Unlike the above, this pitch clearly stated what we would see, explained why we may be interested and invited us several weeks early so we could clear our schedules. While I may not attend, my colleague Donna added this to her calendar. Objective achieved!
Subject: 2-Day Virtual Convention to Showcase Best of 3D Web
Hi Donna and Cece,
I thought you may be interested in learning about a groundbreaking virtual convention that will be held next month entirely on the 3D Web. This July 8th and 9th, participants from all over the world will have the opportunity to attend a virtual trade show for the first time, UtherConvention 2011, which will feature between 100 – 200 exhibitors, including some of the largest players in the 3D internet. The two-day event will include seminars, panel discussions, and virtual networking opportunities. Participants will have access to 3D voice and audio tools, allowing them to overhear and participate in conservations as they walk through the convention hall. It will operate as a real-world convention, but take place entirely online, giving attendees the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals from all over the world.
Would you be interested? I am happy to send over more information.
Next time you reach out to media and/or bloggers as part of your event marketing, keep these three simple tips in mind:
1 – what is the event? Provide an one sentence highlight of your event.
2 – why would the reporter/blogger be interested in your event? Include specifics which can be a topic related to person’s area of focus or interesting innovation within the event
3 – when is the event? Send out invites a few weeks in advance so the person can schedule this accordingly.
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Cece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.
This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.
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