We were recently charged with managing the PR for Lee Park & Arlington Hall Conservancy’s myriad of events celebrating the Hall’s 75th anniversary. Earlier this month, we wrapped the final event of the year for the Conservancy, Light Up Lee Park and the Conservancy’s Member & Patron Holiday Party, which drew a combined crowd of more than 550 people.
If you’ve been tasked with managing PR for an event of any size, the tips outlined below will help you ensure that it goes off without a hitch.
Get a Game Plan
Creating a work-back schedule well before your event will be a lifesaver and save you from the dreaded “I thought you were handling that” conversation. Several weeks before an event (or even months before depending on the size/scope of the event), create a schedule of when tasks are due and who is responsible for each item. Everything that needs to be accomplished from the PR team should be included, from creating a run of show and typing up talking points to managing post-event press releases and coverage reports. It’s also important that everyone update the work-back schedule regularly and note when things are accomplished or if something is taking longer than anticipated.
Look for Opportunities to Talk About Your Business
While promoting an event or milestone, look for opportunities to profile leaders within the organization as a way to discuss the importance of the organization and the significance of the milestone or event. In advance of the 75th anniversary of Arlington Hall we pitched a profile piece of Gay Donnell, president of Lee Park & Arlington Hall Conservancy, for inclusion in the BubbleLife newsletter. Gay’s profile piece spoke to the importance of preserving historical buildings in Dallas, the rich history of Arlington Hall and the anniversary events that were planned and her role at the Conservancy.
Be Prepared for Anything
No matter how much you plan, inevitably something will throw a wrench into those well laid preparations. As the 75th anniversary of Arlington Hall approached no one could have predicted that Dallas would be the epicenter of U.S. Ebola outbreak. Getting media interest in the 75th anniversary of a historic Dallas gem proved challenging, but by sending out post-event photos, offering media the opportunity to tour Arlington Hall at their convenience and sending out pre and post-event news releases we were able to garner more than 115 media placements in broadcast, print and online media. Another unexpected moment: a pooch visiting Lee Park wanted to be a part of the Mayor’s press conference on the 75th anniversary and I quickly went from PR pro to dog wrangler.