Monday, October 22, 2018

YOUR Live Event Social Media Communications?

How to create an effective social media communications strategy for high-profile events..

High-profile events are important to a business’ future success, and having strong communications strategies in place for the event is an absolute must.

Attendees, influencers and press need to have ready-to-share information as soon as they arrive at the event.

This means that your business needs to be 100% prepared to hold up under scrutiny before the first footsteps into the room.

In this technology-driven age with Wi-Fi and Instagram-worthy backdrops, successful media coverage is often just a matter of preparation and marketing. But what are the best practices marketers should include when putting together their communications strategy for a high-profile event?

Below, 15 members of Forbes Communications Council explain their most effective ways of ensuring transparency, privacy or accurate coverage during their biggest events.

1. Take The 'TV Camera' Approach

Assume that anything you do or say will end up on TV. Or, put another way, don't say or do anything you wouldn't want to be broadcast on TV. We plan all events through that lens. It makes us think carefully about who we hand the mic to, what our talking points are and how we need to prepare. -Jennifer Jolls, The Connor Group

2. Consider Risks Then Plan For Success

Consider all of your constituents: participants, consumers, reporters, competitors and anyone else impacted by the event. Carefully consider what could go wrong and the worst-case scenarios before starting to implement the event. This technique is a big help in mitigating risks and creating the framework for a smashing success. -Deborah Farone, Farone Advisors

3. Respond Quickly On Social Media

If you’re hosting an event, odds are that consumers, partners and other stakeholders are weighing in on social media in real time. Marketers should monitor for social posts -- both the good and bad -- and respond quickly, correcting errors and addressing concerns. Always keep in mind the goal of the event and form your social messages accordingly. -Alex Goryachev, Cisco

4. Make The Event An Experience

Brand experience is today’s competitive edge. Stay focused on creating an atmosphere where all participants feel respected, heard and cared for. Ensure journalists have an information package so they can write accurate articles or create content on the fly. If you successfully turn an event into an experience, it'll have a lasting impact on the brand and company’s bottom line. -Parna Sarkar-Basu, Brand and Buzz Marketing, LLC

5. Leave No Stone Unturned

If it is really high profile and important for your business, you have to consider all potential communication vehicles and plan for them. Each has a different voice and it is the marketer's job to make sure they are leveraged the right way. Based on your objective for the event, you should have a plan for utilizing all things new and traditional. Don't focus on just one area. -Blake Rodgers, SiteLock

6. Effectively Drive Home Key Messages

Accurate coverage starts with core key messaging that the marketing team develops at the start of an event or campaign. By ensuring that initial communication drives home key message points in a clear and effective way, we’re able to share our narrative. -G'Nai Blakemore, Mattress Firm

7. Visualize The Impact Of Your Event

Before you rush in and create the checklist for your next high-profile event, step back and think about the impact that you want your event to have on those who matter to your success. Visualize the specific individuals and groups with whom you're communicating, and write out how they currently perceive your brand and what you'd like them to think after attending your event. -Stephen Dupont, Pocket Hercules

8. Equip Your Media Response Team

Establishing a media response team is key. Before the event, determine what topics may be of interest to media and which sources within your organization can best respond to questions. Develop a list of contacts and their availability, and conduct media training to ensure a timely and accurate flow of information come event day. -Marija Zivanovic-Smith, NCR Corporation

9. Utilize Influencer Coverage

Influencer coverage is often more accessible to audiences, which is why they've begun to replace traditional correspondents. If you want influencers at your event, craft transparent invitations. Communicate whether they can bring a guest, if their travel expenses and accommodations are covered, how many posts they will need to make while there and other brand expectations. -Nicolas Miachon, Upfluence Inc.

10. Be Explicit About Who Can Say What To Whom

For high-profile events, be ready for the message(s) to evolve until last minute. You can avoid chaos and ensure accurate coverage via three steps. Be clear internally about who owns the final message and its dissemination. Specify who can communicate what to whom and naming spoke people. Draft what you'd want the coverage, titles, quotes, etc., to be in advance for your spokesperson. -Isabelle Dumont, Lacework

11. Focus On Context And Communications

Without context, communications aren’t effective. Context brings life to communications -- making them relatable, providing information stakeholders care about and delivering something memorable. At the heart of context lies the fact that it must reflect someone’s truth, someone’s reality. This ensures a deeper, more fact-based story and ultimately one that engages an audience more successfully. -Eric Jones, WP Engine

12. Communicate With Your Workforce

When you are planning to make a big announcement -- a merger or acquisition, for example -- success can come down to how well you communicate internally. Employees will stay productive when they know how their work lives will be affected. Communications from leadership need to be transparent and authentic. Reaching every employee at the same time and with the same message is essential. -Alison Murdock, SocialChorus

13. Show, Don't Just Tell

When it comes to impactful communications strategy, the secret is: show, don’t just tell -- especially when there’s an opportunity to engage a live audience. In today’s digital age, storytelling is key. Identify your goals and tell a story that is honest and engaging. By showcasing a unified story across all your multimedia channels, it’s likely accurate word-of-mouth coverage will follow. -Martin Häring, Finastra

14. Go Live And Let People In

There is nothing more transparent and accurate than livestream video. Go live and let people in. Do a behind-the-scenes live video and get people excited about attending. With social media, you have the ability to create the image you want others to see. Show things they would never about know that will help your image around the event. Interview people working hard on getting the event up and running. -Ellicia Romo, Peoples Mortgage Company

15. Crowdsource Your Content And Give Credit

To secure accurate coverage, equip your attendees with the knowledge they need to capture quality, on-the-ground footage for social sharing. This way, you have an army of content creators capturing every aspect of the event -- resulting in more options for you to choose from when you share. And when you share the content, be sure to give credit to the people who helped you create it all. -Andrew Caravella, Sprout Social

Guest Authored By Forbes Communications Council. Forbes Communications Council is an invitation-only, fee-based organization for senior-level communications and public relations executives. Find out if you qualify at Follow Forbes Communications Council on Twitter.

"High-profile events are important to a business’ future success, and having strong communications strategies in place for the event is an absolute must. Attendees, influencers and press need to have ready-to-share information as soon as they arrive at the event. This means that your business needs to be 100% prepared to hold up under scrutiny before the first footsteps into the room.." -ForbesCommunicationsCouncil

    • Post Crafted By:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, CO. where I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
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