I regularly come across retail business owners and other professionals who might
not be certain on how they can reach out to the general public if their topic or
product might not be particularly ‘newsworthy’. One way to get around that is to
skip latching on to a ‘newsy item’ all together and put together a promotional event.
Extending out directly to those prospects you’ve wanted to contact for some time,
promo events give an interesting excuse to touch base.
- Can be used to thank your existing customers for their support. Looking to
shore up your clientele base can often be best accomplished by making them aware
of your appreciation. Holding a customer appreciation day or special sale brings to
light for them their importance to you and in a sense, a form of membership in your
organization. Once this happens, they will be more likely to provide you with more
referrals. At the event, consider handing out a special membership to your
- Events can also provide an excuse to celebrate the holidays. Invite your
prospects and customers out for a Christmas party. Trust me, they’ll think of you as
a friend and more than just a sales rep. I’ll bet you’ll agree that it’s harder to say no
to a friend than a stranger! Interesting enough, these parties are often viewed as
opportunities for networking for your prospects as well. The saying that all
business is personal is very pertinent in this application of promotional event
marketing. Remind attendees to bring business cards and make them available to
all. If your attendees realize your event could be beneficial for their business, they’ll
have just one more reason to positively remember your brand.
- Promote a new product line. Think of Sony, Coca Cola, Ford, on any other big
brand name. When any of them have a new product, one of the first actions taken
includes an announcement to the media with an official launch. In the case of Apple
Computer, the most recent launch of the iPod Nano was shrouded in secrecy. The
rumour mill nonetheless built up enough interest that the product’s launch event
became news in itself. Personally, I can attest to the model of a local MINI
dealership launch of the MINI Convertible. Invitations for a private party were sent
to preferred customers and as a result, customers were given a sense of privileged
- As I alluded to before, organize a networking event. After time and if you
organize enough of them, you’ll build up enough PR capital as THE go between in
the community. Don’t think this won’t have an impact on your bottom line and your
As you can see, PR is more than just connecting with the media. It’s also about
reaching out to the public and creating a lasting image. Try connecting now with
your prospects, clients, and the general public…you might even make a friend!
Mark Buzan is the owner of Action Strategies: http://www.action-strategies.ca, a public
affairs & marketing communications consultancy. You can subscribe now to his
monthly PR tips newsletter by visiting and dropping down the “newsletter” menu. You
can also subscribe to his blog: http://actionstrategies.blogspot.com.