Events are one of the best ways to get publicity. Plan events to mark an occasion or milestone, such as:
- Launch of a new division or important product
- Announcement of a new name
In planning an event, add excitement by creating cross promotions, which means partnering with charitable organizations, related businesses, and celebrities. Make a local magazine or newspaper a sponsor of the event.
To generate publicity for the Intrepid Museum (a naval ship) docked in a New York City harbor, the PR team decided to adopt a canine mascot. They held a “Name the Doggy Contest” in collaboration with the ASPCA. The event involved inviting about 20 dogs from the shelter on board the ship for a party.
Major dignitaries and business leaders attended the event, as well as a class of children from a nearby school. There were lots of photo opportunities that captured the excitement of the dogs and children.
One of the local daily newspapers, a sponsor of the event, announced the contest in the paper for one week and posted a ballot in the paper that allowed the general public to vote for their favorite pooch. The event got major publicity in all the newspapers and on radio and TV stations.
Post-publicity was natural once the favorite dog was selected and named. The mixed breed terrier/shepherd pooch was the star of the media for a week. The Intrepid Museum and its operators were named in all the stories, resulting in much good will.