How to get media coverage for your next company event

Event planning is not for the faint of heart. But the added responsibility of inviting the media and securing press coverage for an event is enough to make even the most seasoned event planner’s stress level go off the charts.

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We’re here for you. And we’re sharing some of our secrets to success.

At any given moment, our agency is working tirelessly on behalf of our clients to invite journalists and online influencers to grand openings, launch parties, philanthropic donations and other company events that need to receive maximum exposure in the media and online. We’ve even donned superhero capes for the sake of pulling off a great event.

In other words, to say we know what works (and what doesn’t) to get the media to attend and cover your company event would be an understatement. Here are some words of wisdom from Dittoe PR Vice President and Partner Megan Custodio that will help you look like a hero the next time you need to drum up media coverage for your big day.

Do your homework before blindly sending invitations to the media. Identify which media outlets are most important to target, and then conduct research on their websites to see who’s recently covered a similar event. For example, if you’re opening a new restaurant, you can search for the names of restaurants that have recently opened in your area and see who reported on the news of their grand opening or VIP party. Once you’ve extended an invitation and they accept, though, your work doesn’t stop there.

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After they arrive at the event, greet them as soon as you can and offer to facilitate any interviews they may need, answer their questions, take them on a tour if the event necessitates it and thank them for coming.”

Targeted outreach and being an on-site resource are just two of the many keys to generating maximum media exposure for company events. From selecting the best time of the day and week to hold an event to choosing the right language to use in your media invitations, there are several other variables to consider when devising your media relations strategies and tactics for your next celebration.

Have a big event on the horizon for your company and want to make your life a lot easier? Ask us how we can make your next event a success. Here’s how we’ve recently helped Broken Beaker Distillery, Indiana Grown and TCC, the nation’s largest Verizon Premium Wireless Retailer, get major media attention for their recent initiatives.

Homegrown By Heroes – PR with a (purple) heart

In July 2015, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture launched the first statewide, state-supported program – Indiana Grown – that creates a clearer designation of which products are truly farmed, produced and/or processed in Indiana. Through Indiana Grown, the term “local” started to take on an entirely new meaning.

Pence-launching-Homegrown-By-Heroes-.-270x180By focusing on its three major components – including educating consumers on the importance of buying Indiana Grown products, increasing sales and networking opportunities for Indiana farmers, and expanding support for Indiana processers in their effort to process more Indiana Grown products – Indiana Grown has already witnessed great success for its more than 400 members.

With membership on the rise, Indiana Grown is continuing to build its portfolio of benefits with the launch of Indiana Grown Homegrown By Heroes, a program that aims to recruit Indiana Veterans to the agriculture industry.

HomegrownThe launch of this program was celebrated publically at the Indianapolis War Memorial on Feb. 29. In addition to the presence of many Indiana Grown representatives and members, Gov. Mike Pence, the Department of Veteran Affairs, Homegrown By Heroes and the Farmer Veteran Coalition offered support at the press conference announcing the new veteran-focused program.

Homegrown By Heroes is a national program administered by the Farmer Veteran Coalition that includes more than 250 members in 43 states, including Indiana. By teaming up with Indiana Grown, the new program gives local producers who have served in the military the opportunity to use an exclusively-designed logo on their business signage and/or product labels. As a result of this added marketing logo, consumers can easily identify products made by Hoosier veterans and support them through every purchase.

As the PR agency on record for ISDA’s Indiana Grown program, Dittoe PR worked diligently to build awareness through personalized media relations, resulting in more than 50 pieces of TV, digital and print coverage in the first week since launch. Our team is thrilled to play a role in telling the story of programs such as Indiana Grown that focus on better supporting Hoosiers and Hoosier veterans in agriculture.

Sputnik-sized grand opening propels Broken Beaker Distillery

Focusing on the experimental side of distilled spirits and craft cocktails, Broken Beaker Distillery opened its doors yesterday to a warm welcome (minus the weather). The bar was packed and popping within the first ten minutes and didn’t slow down until last call.IMG_9079

Inspired by their owners, a chemist and an engineer by trade, Broken Beaker combines humor and science to create an atmosphere unlike any other on the popular Massachusetts Avenue.

The distillery focuses on the ‘experimental’ side of craft cocktails. Periodic table shelving extrudes from behind the bar and holds signature and seasonal spirits with quirky, scientific names. Broken Beaker’s soapstone bar top and classic laboratory bar stools bring back memories of a high school chemistry classroom while foosball tables and 50-inch TVs modernize the trendy 3,500-square-foot distillery.

Guided tours provide customers and alcohol aficionados a sneak peek into the on-site distillery and encourage feedback and ideas for future science-infused spirits. An outdoor patio is already planned for this spring.

How Dittoe PR assisted in the Broken Beaker opening
IMG_9019Broken Beaker is Mass Ave’s first on-site distillery and a business with a story that was begging to be told. Needless to say, hiring the professional storytellers at Dittoe PR was a no-brainer for these science minded entrepreneurs.

Leading up to the grand opening, Dittoe executed several communications tactics that secured mountains of coverage and ensured that the distillery would be on the forefront of everyone’s minds.

We created and managed Broken Beaker Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts, using these to connect with food and beverage reporters, on-air personalities, restaurant reviewers and influential Indianapolis thought leaders. Our established relationships with members of the local media earned us coverage in nearly all relevant outlets including, The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Business Journal, Indianapolis Monthly, WTHR, Fox59, WISH TV, and Indiana On Tap.

IMG_9047Finally, Dittoe organized an exclusive VIP event with social media influencers, local media members as well as movers and shakers in the Indianapolis tourism scene. This generated a palatable buzz the night before the event which carried over until the grand opening.

Stop by Broken Beaker Distillery

With Dittoe PR’s assistance, Broken Beaker Distillery is well on its way to becoming a unique and popular staple in a neighborhood known for its iconic nightlife. They’re located at 643 Massachusetts Ave., next to Ralston’s Draft House. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that stopping in for a drink is a good idea!