Working with a good local organisation, on a regional event, which ends up attracting international headlines for all the right reasons, is a PR executive’s dream-come-true. So, what’s the secret? The truth is, it’s not that complicated. Essentially, it comes down to four basic concepts and making sure you get those things right.
Having the right people with the right experience and skills to do the job is a basic requirement, but there is more to it. It also involves trust and “fit” – on both sides – to ensure that not only the PR team works as one but that broader team, including the client, is working together effectively. Those with egos or who suffer from work avoidance syndrome are always a hindrance.
In our case, we had the right people on both sides in terms of media, social media, design and advertising skills and knowledge. We also had the right personalities who were focussed on the task at hand and prepared to do whatever was necessary to make the event a success.
A clear simple strategy that is logical and easy to understand is always superior to one that is overthought, complicated and confusing.
We had two overarching objectives – to raise the profile of the event and increase ticket sales. There were three key messages that were linked to the event’s theme and related to the broader geo-political environment to ensure currency and relevance (more on this later). We used two simple hashtags – one for the event itself #APCAC2018 and one that conveyed the core value of the event #PartnersInAsia.
The strategy was robust enough to retain the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances that ensured the messaging was strong, consistent and easily understood.
Understanding the various communication platforms – traditional and digital/social – and how to get maximum benefit out of them is an obvious element to the success of any campaign.
If it’s local coverage you’re after, you need someone with the local media knowledge and contacts to help ensure maximum coverage. The same is true if it is international media attention you are seeking. In this day and age, digital and social media engagement is all but compulsory. Many people claim to be social media “experts”, but you need to make sure they can ‘walk-the-talk’.
Our event proves that if you’ve got the expertise and use the right platforms, success is inevitable as I’ll demonstrate shortly.
The “magic ingredient” – for want of a better description – for an outstanding campaign is understanding the broader context in which your event or issue is taking place and linking the two to your advantage.
Our event related to enhancing US business in Asia at a time when the US is pulling out of international trade agreements, bringing in new tariffs and creating business and political uncertainty. On first appearances, the broader context threatened the validity and success of the event. Instead, we turned the issue on its head by explaining why the summit was so vital at this time: it’s up to US business to take the lead in engaging with Asia and this event will provide the necessary information and tools to succeed in these turbulent times.
- TRADITIONAL MEDIA – 200 stories in news publications (radio, TV, newspaper, magazines, online) across Asia, Europe, the US and Africa
- SOCIAL MEDIA – We trended on social media throughout the event
- DELEGATE NUMBERS – More than 300
- OVERALL – The event is being used as a template for future summits
By following four simple principles, you too can generate great value for your clients.