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4606297422_3afa71c7d2_o (1)Some sponsored business events are so good that they become “must-attends,” like the Business Journal’s annual Book of Lists party, among others.

The credibility associated with the event is typically bolstered by the impressive list of attendees, both in quality and quantity.  It is also something that can provide a decent news hook for your client’s accomplishments if you are one of the honorees at said event.  HMA spends considerable time preparing and submitting nominations on behalf of our clients.  We do so for the recognition that these honors bring, as well as the opportunity for additional media coverage.

But is important to note that while these are well-deserved honors, events such as Best Places to Work, Most Influential Women in Arizona, Most Admired Companies or Health Care Heroes, for example, are sponsored by a media outlet, thus making it difficult to gain media attention from a competing publication.

It is unlikely that a competing  business publication will  include a mention about another publication’s “award winners,” so be sure to take that into consideration when submitting a client or colleague for one of these local business awards.

The same is often true for community events as well. If a media station is a presenting sponsor it may be difficult to get another in the market to cover it  – even if it’s a slow news day and your event is bona-fide newsworthy.

Just a couple things to keep in mind as you work to get as much as you can out of your media relations efforts.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

1 Comment

  1. Alison Bailin says:

    I address this issue in several ways:

    1. I weave the honor into a proactive FEATURE story pitch or PROFILE story pitch about the client. Then, I create key messaging to use in said stories once placed, making the honor impactful beyond just the event, no matter the sponsor.

    2. I re-work a traditional announcement release of the honor into something regionally focused. For this market, say “North Scottsdale community leader XX has been named the xx” or something like that. Then, though a sponsored event, the honor will most likely be picked up by community papers who are not directly competing with said sponsor.

    3. If the event itself is in a geographically desirable “micro market,” I take photos and submit them to local society and other regional magazines with some brief key messages for a little extra bang for the buck.

    4. I post to the client’s news room, write a blog post about the honor for their blog, or even post to our HMA news room and to some online news sites that do not compete with the sponsor outlets.

    5. I live tweet about the honor, using strategic hashtags and such, to encourage others (all people in the client’s office, my own team, others in industry, event sponsors, et al) to share as well (often texting them or using email to make sure they see and know what to do) and to create a groundswell of “viral-ish” coverage.

    I totally agree – getting “day of” coverage from a traditional news outlet on something sponsored by another news outlet is probably not going to happen. But, if you set your client’s expectations ahead of time, focused on all of the above and the long-term potential angles, then you can still be effective on the PR end.

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