PR for 'thons: a primer


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Deck on doing PR for charity runs, walks, rides

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  • - Drive registrations and fundraising- Raise awareness about a cause/event/beneficiary- Energize existing participants- Build community- Please existing sponsors- Exposure to potential sponsors
  • One of many
  • - “So many events, so many causes”- Condensed season - Media inundated with pitches- Media in fluxBUT- PR has changed so profoundly that you can win with a mix of old and new tools
  • -Media hate “mass, blind, no prior relationship pitches”- For this reason good PR is about listening - Listen for longer than you think you need to- Listen before talking
  • Lots of tools for listening – the wiki linked is updated
  • If you don’t already have a listening strategy:- Setup Google alerts for specific keywords related to your cause/thon- Look at doing the same for and/or Tweetbeep- Go checkout Ice Rocket (kinda like Google for blogosphere - Start building a list of relevant bloggers and journos based on the intel you receive
  • - Red herring debate on where to house social- Social media is a great way to engage traditional mediaPR function needs to have access to social accounts- Allows PR to “give to media before asking” and build relations with media unobtrusively
  • Greatest media relations tool since the press releaseSolves age old PR problemsQuick way to help reporters Stay on their radarBe SEEN to be sharing contentExample
  • If you have social media presence:- Start following journalists, bloggers, media of interest- Commit to interacting with them in these spaces (set goals)If you don’t have social media presence:- See where your journalists, and existing/target participants hangout- Open up accounts and follow them- Listen for a month or two- First interactions should be aimed at “helping them”-
  • - If not already in place, develop a typology of media relevant participants- Share this with front line staff- Setup mechanism for front line staff and PR function to harvest compelling participant stories- If using Convio or other software make sure PR function has ability to use it- Develop assets for participants to conduct their own media outreach
  • Everyone loves pictures, especially in the digital era- Pinterest is the fastest rising social network ever. Over 11.7m users- Instagram now over 15m users- More video uploaded to Youtube in a month than the big 3 US networks produced in 50 yearsPictures and video the lingua franca of the web- Key to any content marketing and media outreachYET, traditional media’s resources to produce them are declining
  • Your events ARE visualTools abound from cameras once reserved for the pros, to smart phones, to Flip camsAmazing for storytellingIncrease chances of coverage due to macro factorsMain thing for ‘thons is to have the capacity and ensure content is ready quickly
  • - Conduct an audit of your ‘thon’s ability to produce photo/video content- Take steps to fill in capacity gapsPre event generate list key visual moments/places- Ensure traditional press release goes out with video, photos- Consider possibility/feasibility of an SMR- Post event and during “off season” create visual content library related to impact of your ‘thon
  • WEWC TO – case study
  • Media stunts are appealingGreat way to placate stakeholders- Need to be different- Visual first but with interview opps- Limited power to drive bottom line unless your stunt goes viral- Best practice: grassroots initiatives where you empower your community to drive bottom line
  • Sponsors are press hungryToo often ‘thon PR people forget about them What can you do? Get list of sponsor spokespeople pre event and media train themInclude them as in “interview opps” section of advisoryDrive media to areas where sponsors have physical presence on eventREMEMBER THEM WHEN MEDIA WANT INTERVIEWS!
  • PR for 'thons: a primer

    1. 1.  Owner Proper Propaganda  Digitally savvy, boutique Communications agency Contributing Editor at PR Daily  Blogger  Former Director of Communications at Causeforce  Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers  Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer  The Underwear Affair
    2. 2. Why media coverage? The challenge ListeningSocial media to engage press Your best asset Visual media The exclusive Guerrillas in the mist? Sponsors
    3. 3.  Good aggregated resource:
    4. 4. Heart strings to move actionParticipants humanize event/causeMine community constantly • Internal comms keyEmpowering them to get press
    5. 5. Answers:participant exclusives Old PR Tools Media does not want to cover same story
    6. 6. Crowded field = coverage hard to score Listen before talking Social media as a way to engage target media Expose/empower your participantsCapitalize on visual media and media’s declining capacity to produce it Give media “multiple angles of same story” via exclusive If you use guerilla it needs to be more than a photo op Love (and remember) thine sponsors
    7. 7. Questions?Please follow up with me! Twitter: @jacksonwightman (514) 605 9255