Getting value from event management
Here in Malaysia, there is a general misperception that the function of local Public Relations (PR) practitioners is to manage events and generate publicity through their purported remarkable media contacts. This is due to the prevalent negative public image of PR – no thanks to the ‘work’ of unprofessional corporate flacks who make their living by ‘spinning’ and covering up mistakes made by their bosses and hucksters hovering around celebrities and politicians.
Often times professional PR practitioners are mistaken for mere event managers and press release writers, relegating PR’s strategic role as custodian of the corporate brand to an insignificant one. However, this does not mean that PR practitioners do not manage events – they do, as event management is part of the PR mix. On the contrary, the events that are managed by professional PR practitioners are part of a bigger picture of corporate communication that is planned strategically to meet with the organisation’s or client’s business objectives.
Yes, event management is generally about check-lists and project management but there is more to what meets the case. The part that is generally overlooked is the objective of the event being planned – what needs to be achieved. The main purpose of an event may be a given but the sub-themes and underlying purposes will have to be given due consideration. What the audience expect from the event should be considered, but what the organisation or client wants to achieve from the event should be important too.
Some of the other underlying purposes that could be considered, besides launching a product or service to create awareness, could be:
- To invite key stakeholders who may be influencers
- To bring together potential customers so they may be motivated to buy
- To create networking opportunities for event attendees
- To strengthen corporate/brand reputation
Each of these underlying purposes has specific action items that enable the capitalisation on outcomes from the event. There may be a principal aim for the event being planned but there are several supporting subsidiary aims that an event organiser – the PR practitioner, could develop into advantageous outcomes.
When organising your next event, take time to deliberate on how the value of the event can be leveraged by purposefully developing subsidiary aims that translate into beneficial outcomes – for your organisation or client.
Have a great week.