The Need for Special Events

By: Abby Miller, @abbby_e

02.07.09 MPI at Aquarium

When people think of public relations, the usual skill and strategies like social media management and crisis management come to mind. One aspect of public relations that can be of key importance, however, is special event planning. Special event planning is when a company puts on a wide variety of events that promote their business. A special event could be anything from a grand opening, to an anniversary celebration, to a community fair. Hosting a successful event can do wonders for your brand’s image, and hopefully position that brand in your consumers’ minds. For just this reason, event planning is an important skill for every aspiring PR professional to have in their arsenal.

  • What can special events do for your brand?

Hosting a number of special events can help to strengthen your relationship with your customers and/or community, by providing them the opportunity to see who your company is. This in turn builds awareness of your brand, encourage brand loyalty and support, and draws attention to all of the cool new actions that you’re company is taking!

  • What to avoid?

One of the main pitfalls of special event planning is hosting an event for no reason. Make sure there is a legitimate reason to be putting on an event. Special events are best done with a specific purpose in mind, whether it’s to promote a new product, celebrate a company accomplishment, or strengthen community relationships. Regardless of the reason, its important to always have a message and clear target audience to deliver your message to.

Another major pitfall of special event planning is lack of planning. Producing a successful event takes time and dedication, and an event won’t live up to its full potential without it. Nothing is worse than inviting a group you want to impress to an event that falls short of their expectations.

Special event planning is a large aspect of public relations, and making sure these events are done appropriately will ensure that they are also effective for your company.

AVW Week: Planning for Perfection

AVW WeekAs the anticipation of AVW Week approached, the ImPRessions AVW Productions account was hard at work, planning for perfection. AVW Week is happening this week and will continue through Sunday. As the Account Executive, I worked closely with Elyse Freeman, the Assistant Account Executive, and Thomas Sinard, the Marketing Manager of AVW. Our wonderful and hard-working associates are Alex Davies, Angela Keane, Brooke Robinson, Carolyn Nachman, Erica Stonehill, Jill Kata, Kat Safreed, Megan Valentine, Rachel Fleig and Rachel Shehy.

The week of events has included the release of the new AVW website on Monday, commercial releases on Tuesday and producer interviews on Wednesday. On Thursday, AVW hosted an AVW Fair in Baker 226 from 3 p.m. to 7p.m. so students can learn more about the organization. Tonight, AVW will have a premiere in the Bobcat Student Lounge from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. where members can see a new and collaborative episode from AVW Newstime and Fridays Live. On Saturday, students around campus will be participating in AVW’s newest show, TOUR. You can follow them with the hashtag #TOUREP1. AVW Week will wrap up with the video game tournament hosted by Tech Heads starting at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday in Baker 240.

In order to plan and execute these events in the best way possible, we decided to split our associates up into two teams: event planning and media relations. Our two teams worked to complete and pitch a press release, make a flyer, pitch to classes throughout the week, talk to businesses in order to get food and prizes donated, brainstorm ideas and event names, social media and anything and everything else we asked them to do. It has been amazing to watch each of our associates step up to the plate and complete each and every task above and beyond the expectations we had set.

Events such as AVW Week allow students to create, pitch and implement their own ideas, helping them to grow further in love with their major. We have seen so many associates grow as leaders throughout the planning of AVW Week, and can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings!

You can follow #AVWweek on AVW’s Twitter, Facebook and new Instagram account.

Promoting Outside the Box: Innovative PR Stunts

Public relations professionals are always on their toes, anticipating what’s next. PR is an industry that is constantly on the verge of change and perpetually in motion. Today’s consumer market is so highly competitive, it forces PR brains to extend beyond traditional promotional tactics and stand out innovatively. Teams work to creatively break through a clutter of brands targeting the same audiences by staging PR stunts.

Small Girl PromTake Small Girls PR’s 30 Days of Prom stunt, for example. Two small girls delved into the glamorous, glittery world of prom by wearing a different Tiza.com prom dress every day for 30 days.  Fashion-crazed, prom-ready teens could follow the activities on a tumblr page to explore prom tips and tricks, and maybe even participate in the challenge themselves. The stunt concluded with a prom event hosted my Styleite, Tumblr, and Tiza.com.

Girls all over the country fell in love with prom again. 30 Days of Prom was even featured in Elle Girl, Glamour and The Gloss, just to name a few. This genius PR stunt created major buzz and hyped the anticipation for girls to find their perfect prom dress via Tiza.com. 30 Days of Prom caught the attention of many, and made Tiza.com stand out as a leading prom dress supplier.

Other mastermind PR stunts include Chevy’s aerial attraction, where Chevy sent a new Sonic sedan out of an airplane and streamed a video of its airborne free-fall on YouTube, generating millions of views. Someone please tell me that they would not be curious to see this?

As young professionals, here’s how we can get our creative wheels turning.

1. Think outside of the box. Tear down all the boundaries that box-in traditional PR tactics. Think beyond city limits, beyond American culture and beyond objectives. Think big and get creative.

2. Recognize that no idea is stupid. Anything can lead to something big and great. Pitch all your ideas, even if you think they’re stupid, because there is always a possibility that your small, silly and underdeveloped idea will snowball into something buzz-worthy.

3. Use your resources. Pull from all angles that are available to you to either create or implement a stunt. What lies in your bag of resources? Printing, street festivals, influential people, college libraries, anything at all can help exponentially.

4. Find what engages your audience and run with it. Hosting PR stunts will only get you so far. Along with a head-turning stunt, take the conversation online. Facilitate a dialogue that engages the audience with your brand, placing the stunt at the center of conversation.

Everyday brands pull out their swords and battle against the cluttered market population to win the hearts of consumers, especially within the plethora of logos, slogans, billboards and blogs. Attracting attention demands innovative, out-of-the-box PR stunts. Brilliant PR stunts can work wonders for your brand’s reputation and recognition, and it all begins with out-of-the-box, innovative thinking.

-Marisa Dockum is a junior communications studies major with a global leadership certificate. Follow her at @MarisaDockum

AMplified Communication Founded From NYC Inspiration

While being alone in different environments for all of 2013, I’ve gained a great sense of confidence and growth within myself. I’ve always known I wanted to some day own my own PR firm or agency, collaborating with clients who needed my expertise. I’ve always been aware of my appreciation for the arts, expression and our rising media culture.

As time progressed, I noticed more and more of my friends and peers expressing themselves through their creative art outlet. Whether it’s music, fashion or creating a fresh, new product with a brand, the people I’m surrounded by are some of the most creative and innovative youth! With my passion for public relations, media, connecting and helping others, I decided it was time to create something to begin practicing for what I want to do in the near future.

1146671_10151775824449176_1029182539_nThroughout the summer, Malindi Robinson worked on a NYC young entrepreneur networking party, hosted by Collegiate Crown. I met the founder of Collegiate Crown through a previous internship and also volunteered my time to help planning the event. Malindi was assigned the task of sponsorship outreach and found herself securing over half of the event sponsors, all from Ohio. It was in that moment we realized all of the curators in our surroundings who don’t get enough recognition.

At a very special point near the end of my summer, I was connected with a young NYC entertainer by the name of Nigel Scott Morris. A lover of music being a part of my description in the referral, Nigel invited me to judge and attend auditions for his main music event, The Dean’s List Tour.

The Dean’s List Tour is a concert catered to underground artists, performers and entrepreneurs who are looking to gain exposure in the collegiate consumer market. During the concert, aside from performing their set, performers will have the opportunity to network and mingle with other artists, designers and other young entrepreneurs from Ohio and the East coast – specifically NYC! The concert is sponsored by popular mainstream brands Reebok and Def Jam Records and will be attended by talent scouting reps from C&C Entertainment and other music industry professionals from NYC checking out our underground talent!

I rode the train to midtown Manhattan, on the west side, and got to witness some awesome audition acts! So much talent; singers, rappers and dancers all came out to earn a spot on this tour. After learning about my background, Nigel offered me the position of the Ohio Representative and wanted me to host a stop of The Dean’s List Tour at Ohio University.  Tremendously honored and excited, I accepted the offer almost blindly.

By the end of the summer, Malindi and I both agreed we wanted to create a student organization catered to our specific passions and interests within the public relations field. We decided our organization would be for the students, by the students, and that The Dean’s List Tour would be our first big event.

From August until October, I ran around campus like a chicken with my head cut off trying to figure out the foundation I needed to lay to make this organization and concert happen. With the collaboration of a few of my awesome colleagues, I finally got AMplified Communication registered as a student organization. Also, with the support of Ohio University Association of Black Journalists, I booked Baker Theater to be the venue of Ohio University’s first student-run concert, The Dean’s List Tour.

I am so blessed to have the courage to embark on a personal journey that can only bring growth to so many people besides myself. With three weeks into this organization, there has been a vast amount of support and interest. I’m excited to be able to assist my colleagues in helping them AMplify their platform for their passions as well as connecting them amongst each other to rise to success. I hope to have started an organization that will last at Ohio University even after I’ve graduated. I believe we need more supporting platforms like AMplified Communication because my generation is at the forefront of our culture. Networking and building are the keys to success in society and AMplified is the door where both fit at Ohio University.

AMplified Communication meets Thursday’s at 7:30 p.m. in Ellis 024. For more information on AMplified Communication click here.

-Ashley Osborne is the co-founder and president of AMplified Communication and is a junior studying strategic communication with a Spanish minor. Follow her at @Simply_AO.

PR, Music and Culture Merge with AMplified Communication

Amplified

About: 

AMplified Communication is a full service public relations, media and event planning organization. Our mission is to connect and expose student brands at Ohio University and throughout Ohio in the industries of art, entertainment, entrepreneurism and lifestyle. We want our clients to gain full potential of their brand’s exposure and positive recall right now and in the future.

Uniquely, AMplified will integrate media platforms in campaign and branding strategies. All clients will be college-aged students, looking to create and build their personal brand. Helping these students effectively reach their goals will be their colleagues who are looking for experience in brand development. Our organization is based on a value of “students helping students.”

We provide a multitude of public relations and branding services for independent, young entrepreneurs and their brands.

Our services include:

  • Public relations research
  • Development of public relations campaign for client brands
  • Brand building and consulting
  • Social media management and marketing
  • Event planning

We combine all these services with our passion for entertainment, media and lifestyle and our dedication to assisting clients in reaching their ultimate goal. We believe in working in conjunction with our client’s team. We focus on bringing visions to fruition with emphasis on a collective effort that helps shape unique brands.

We meet Thursday’s at 7:30pm in Ellis Hall 024 and members are able to join throughout the year.

Nature of General Body meetings:

  • Planning for company and client events (The Dean’s List Tour)
  • Members of organization recommended to be involved with PRSSA or ImPRessions
  • Branding workshops
  • Seminars with professional speakers from the targeted industries
    • Entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, entrepreneurship

Organization members will be organized into groups or accounts that will handle organization clients. Account members will collectively handle press and media relations, strategic brand implementation, and event planning for their client.

Twitter: @AMplifiedOU
Facebook: AMplified Communication

A Night of #SwingsNWings with the Copperheads

Swings N WingsWednesday night the Copperheads ImPRessions account held their first event of the semester. The Swings ‘N Wings World Series Watch Party, held at Buffalo Wild Wings, was a real hit.

Attendees watched the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals battle it out in the first game of the 2013 World Series while snacking on delicious wings and other appetizers. Raffles were called between every inning as well, where Copperheads shirts, hats and bobble heads were up for grabs. Insomnia Cookies also graciously donated prizes to the event including gift cards, pens, magnets and hats. Homer, the snake wrangling bear and the official mascot of the Copperheads, even made an appearance.

The Copperheads ImPRessions team put a lot into the preparation of this event. Before anything could be planned, the team had to first contact BW3’s to make sure the event could be held there. Some team members also made pitches to local Athens businesses for prize donations. This was a great way for them to gain some experience in writing a pitch letter and then actually executing the pitch to real businesses.Wings 2

A big part of the event preparation was promotion via social media. With a focus largely on twitter, all members were encouraged to use the original hashtag “#SwingsNWings” created by Colin Madigan, a freshman on the team this year.

Instagram and Vine, social media outlets fairly new to the Copperheads, were utilized as well. In addition, the team made a promotional flyer for the event. The team was highly successful in the promotion of this event, making it a great start to what is going to be a successful year.

Not only was this event great for the attendees, but it was an incredible way for the ImPRessions team to bond as well. It was a great night for Cardinals fans, Red Sox fans and the ImPRessions team members alike!

Make sure to catch all the happenings of the Copperheads accounts!

Twitter: @Copperheads

Facebook: Southern Ohio Copperheads

Instagram: @copperheadsbaseball

Vine: Southern Ohio Copperheads

-Mira Kuhar is a sophomore studying strategic communication. Follow her at @mirakuhar.