In public relations, live events can be highly effective. They can increase awareness, leads and sales, and can even improve customer relationships and loyalty. If attendees enjoy one event, they’re likely to attend a future event or make a purchase.
The Content Marketing Institute finds:
- 79 percent of B2B communicators and 69 percent of B2C use events
- B2B ranks events as their number one content marketing tactic
- B2C ranks events second only to email newsletters
Events clearly are impactful in terms of both quantity and quality. But what can be done to make them even stronger?
“Use a social media correspondent,” advises Stephanie Wonderlin Carls, client success manager with Rivet Works, Inc. “They’re ambassadors who report on your brand and connect you with your audience.”
Digital correspondents drive higher engagement rates and produce a ton of nontraditional content like videos and photos alongside social updates and in-person conversation. To help you get started, here are 10 tips to help you find, work with, and leverage social media correspondents at your next event:
1. Know the skills
Social media correspondents have a unique skill set. Many people make the mistake of hiring someone with traditional reporting skills. Instead, look for people who are comfortable with the camera; know how to write; can establish rapport and guide conversations, online and off; and know when to dive into people’s answers and when to stop a conversation that isn’t going anywhere.
2. Be strategic
Not every event needs a correspondent. Look at your PR and event-planning calendar. When might a correspondent make the most sense? How would their presence benefit your brand? What content and conversations could they generate? Are you sponsoring a conference, for instance? Then a social media correspondent can increase awareness of your brand at the event and extend your impact beyond the booth.
3. Seek alignment
Social media correspondents are a great way to reach new and existing audiences, but only if they align with your brand. When you find someone who can represent you in a professional manner, they will garner the right kind of interactions and content.
4. Establish ground rules
How will social media correspondents decide whom to interview? Where will they be active online? What brand guidelines do they need to be aware of? Give them the information they need to succeed as your representative.
5. Let correspondents be themselves
Correspondents are partners, not employees. You hire them because of their unique voice and reach. Let them be themselves. They’ll be perceived as authentic, making you more credible and trustworthy.
6. Choose content creation goals
What one content piece do you hope to get out of your social media correspondent’s presence? Branded event coverage? Customer interactions? Testimonials? Thought leadership? Determine your goals before the event.
7. Augment interviews with live streams and messaging
8. Go behind the scenes
Give correspondents backstage access. Let them share behind-the-scenes activity with videos, photos and social updates. It’ll build excitement and grow attendance.
9. Repurpose content
Once you have original content, think through alternative formats. Create outtakes. Take quotes from interviews and turn them into social media updates. Use photos as stand-alone highlights. Publish a post-show wrap-up. Produce teasers for next year’s event. You can repackage content in many, many ways. Get creative!
10. Know your metrics
What defines success? Sales is only one metric. Also track increased engagement, brand awareness, and website traffic. How will you measure those things to assess value and improve future efforts?
Want more outside-the-box content marketing ideas? View Cision’s white paper “Outside-the-Box Content Marketing For PR” now!
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