The hardest thing to imagine for most people is what constitues a newsworthy media event for influential bloggers. For that reason, I will revisit media events that failed and share some ideas about what they transform it into awesomeness. For the first of my Blogger and Media Event Case Study series, we will dissect an ice cream taste test event that I attended a couple years ago.
Before we pass from theory to practice, I want to address two key issues for success. You will better understand where I come from if you read first my top hosting a blogger event tips.
First, let’s talk budget. This is the argument that I heard the most as an excuse. It may be true that budgets are not large enough but if the typical mom can host a birthday party for her little kid that is more polished and better designed than your bland event, you are in trouble. What you need to do is rethink the priorities. I have seen, event after event, good money that was spent on the wrong thing.
Second, put entertaining first! Forget what they teach you at PR schools. The classic media conference format, or even the basic cocktail party, doesn’t cut it if you reach bloggers. I strongly believe that having on your team a person who follows the latest entertaining trends is an absolute must. Remember that lifestyle bloggers are ahead of the curve. Think about style and provide fun activities.
The First Case Study: An Ice Cream Tasting Event for Influential Local Bloggers
A few years ago, I attended one of the most boring media event to introduce Breyers 1/2 the Fat light ice creams. Sorry Breyers, you are still my favorite store-bought ice cream but the event that you hosted in Montreal was horrible. I will tell you at the end how you could have made it wonderful without spending more than you did.
Instead of making a fun tasting event, the PR agency that handled that account put together an event where they simply served us the ice cream at a bar. No party decorations. They had a standard freezer from which a guy served us a scoop of one of flavours in a none descriptive ice cream container. Next to it, the Breyers 1/2 the Fat light vertical banner told us the name of the product. That was it! No set up for photos, no fun props (they just use boring corporate images), no activities were planned. They spent more on the bar tap than on featuring the product!
Ice cream screams entertaining and fun. Why limit the choices to the ice cream flavours? What about the standard “in a cone or a cup” option? Plus, there is nothing wrong with using ice cream as an ingredient if it is an essential ingredient! Why not set up a sundae bar or a s’mores bar? Some may tweet about their personal preferences or the ones of their fellow bloggers.
Why not take the time to create an amazing ice cream parlour scene filled with cute props. This is where the time you spent reading the best wedding and entertaining blogs will pay off. If you make the vignette a part of your official photo booth, instead of a background covered your name, you increase the chances that I want my pictures taken and be happy to share it with your hashtag.
You could add a virtual party to your blogger/media event. Get the bloggers (the ones who wish to participate) and your community more involved with a real-time contest. Ask the bloggers to upload a photo of their ultimate sundae in your Facebook page for a chance to win something that bloggers will value.
Look at my suggestions as food for thought. I will continue to explore ways to bring your media event to the next level in order to maximize your chances of getting the words out. Do not hesitate to share your thoughts. When it comes to great ideas, the more the merrier.