PR Events: Are They Worth the Money?

Kathryn Webster, account manager, Clarion Communications

It’s fair to say there’s nothing quite as stressful as an event, especially in the world of PR.  From organising logistics to inviting journalists, it’s a never ending battle - and even once it’s over, we still need to secure coverage post-event to make a return on investment and please our clients.

PR companies are now going the extra mile by paying big bucks to employ event companies such as Bompass and Parr, who can create exciting events to attract journalists. Even then it’s still a struggle to coax them away from their desks and keep them in the room for more than five minutes.

So what is the key to a successful PR event? Is it offering a journalist champagne and canapés on arrival, or giving away an expensive, freebie-laden goodie bag when they leave? All of these techniques are now being used by PR companies to ensure we deliver in the event arena. 

The truth is, most journalists would happily receive all new information over email. So is it worth investing in a PR event if all it causes is stress and extra pressure to secure coverage?  Would we be better off steering away from expensive events and using our money elsewhere, to create new stories and secure product placement?

Personally, I love a good PR event and think we’ll keep running them until the only people who turn up are bloggers looking for a free glass of champagne…

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