Best practices for coordinating a communication plan for your event

Best practices for coordinating a communication plan for your event

The event-related press relations landscape is changing with the times. Traditional media no longer have a monopoly. While they reach "senior" audiences, this is less the case for the younger generations, who get their information via more digital channels. Specialized blogs, content creators and influencers on social media are new high-impact communication channels. Communication around an event (play/exhibition/sports competition) that used to involve a few well-placed interviews and reviews in certain press titles is no longer enough to attract a diverse audience. As a result, communication plans are becoming more complex, depending on the different target audiences to be reached, the aim being to send the right message to the right segment via the right channel.

In this article, we'll explore some of the best practices for developing media impact while saving time in the development of a communications plan.

I- Identify objectives and target audiences

Good communication starts with knowing who you're talking to. This is the starting point for thinking about the message you want to get across, and the medium you want to use to convey it. As far as public institutions are concerned, the complexity lies in the fact that they attract different profiles. Is it necessary to communicate a message that is more or less suitable for all audiences, in the interests of simplification? Or do we need to take distinct, personalized action?

The right strategy is probably to strike a balance between the 2: a general message for the general public and a few targeted actions (for young people, tourists, etc.).

To ensure the relevance of target audiences, audience research is one of the keys to understanding audience interests. In addition, it's a good idea to compare these findings with audience data from a CRM.

II - Coordinating projects and teams

When implementing a communications plan, the content to be created is numerous and can be managed by different departments (visuals, videos, press releases, print and digital versions...). On the one hand, press teams are responsible for identifying relevant media and planning interviews, reports and reviews. On the other, the marketing and communications teams are more responsible for securing key advertising space and strategy social media. It is therefore important to ensure overall consistency in the message, the actions taken to disseminate it, and to have a clear vision of task allocation and progress. Many digital tools are designed to meet these needs. This is particularly true of a high-performance CRM. 

      • Know your key contacts (media and agencies). By centralizing contacts with the media, journalists, advertising agencies/regions, etc., a CRM tool enables you to assemble a complete media database and track exchanges with each structure within dedicated files accessible to the teams concerned. It's important to qualify and maintain this database, so you always know who to contact and the history of exchanges with that contact.
      • Efficient, transparent tracking. Specialized CRMs such as Arenametrix enable you to precisely track every stage of an event communications plan, thanks in particular to a "project tracking" function: a tool that enables you to track every interaction with journalists from contact to publication of content, or with advertising agencies from briefing to invoicing. This project tracking tool is complemented by team time optimization features such as the ability to assign tasks or automated reminders based on whether or not a project stage has been completed. These are handy features for ensuring that deadlines are met. Coordination of the various teams is made easy and transparent thanks to shared access to information on press and advertising projects.

The icing on the cake is the tool's routing functionality, which enables communications and newsletters to be sent to contacts segmented into lists. Ideal for sending a press release to a base of journalists!

III - Measuring the effectiveness of the press and communications plan

Once a communication plan has been completed, it's time to analyze its impact in relation to the objectives previously set. These objectives can be very diverse:

  • Amplify visibility and brand awareness,
  • Increase visitor numbers,
  • Stimulate donations as part of a participative sponsorship campaign
  • Attract specific audiences.

These objectives determine the key performance indicators to be tracked during the analysis. This impact measurement stage is not easy, as quantifying the impact of communications is not easy, influenced by many external factors and subject to time lag (results can take a long time to materialize).

Nevertheless, you have to start somewhere, and do so with a view to continuous improvement. Here are a few ways to get started:

Quantifying and analyzing media coverage

      • Measure the number of press articles and media mentions,
      • Estimate the scope of media coverage, by collecting information from the media on the distribution of content. Don't hesitate to ask the media with whom you communicated for statistics. 
      • Assess the tone of media coverage in terms of the amount of positive, neutral or negative feedback.

Analyze incoming traffic to your tools

      • Measure the impact of traffic on the identified website or destination pages, in particular by setting up a tagging plan,
      • Analyze your social media performance and tone.

Analyze the impact on your audience

      • Measure traffic to determine whether your communication actions have had an effect on the engagement of your targets.

To sum up, a well-organized press and communications plan for an event requires you to define :

  • the purpose of speaking
  • desired targets
  • the message to give them
  • press and advertising materials
  • performance indicators to be analyzed.

And to have a good CRM tool adapted to institutions receiving the public, which meets the following needs in particular:

  • Centralize data from media outlets, agencies and journalists, and enable them to be segmented according to (contact data, media type, preferred content, etc.).
  • Facilitate tracking of interactions (making contact, interviews scheduled, carried out, validated, quotes sent and validated, etc.).
  • Project management functionalities (task allocation, reminders, etc.).
  • Send communications to the database (press releases, newsletters, etc.).
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Solène Jimenez

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Apolline Locquet

Would you like to carry out a data & CDP diagnosis of your organisation? Take advantage of 30 minutes of free consulting by reserving your slot.

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