Over 160 influential journalists and bloggers briefed face to face in just two weeks with nationwide coverage – so what is our secret to success?
Nexus has been whipping up a media storm by running six completely different media events in just two weeks for key face-to-face media contacts. From health correspondents from The Times, The Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, The Mirror, The Daily Mail, YOU magazine and The Press Association, to consumer glossies such as Woman & Home, Prima and Saga, to leading digital websites including NetDoctor and not forgetting the all-powerful bloggers like Gina Akers – it has made for an exciting couple of weeks.
So what is our secret; other than being full of beans?
There is no one golden chalice, rather it’s down to understanding the media, and an ability to pull all the right elements together using our connections that count. But there are some key principles that define the DNA of our success, elements we have drawn upon over the last couple of weeks to ensure win-win scenarios all round
- Think like an editor. With six events over a very short timeframe it is no mean feat getting the media away from their desks time and time again. We have their trust gained over years of delivering what our contacts want and need but you still have to find the right relevant and resonant angles that will not only deliver new news for different media channels but that will bolster the brand and deliver on objectives and results. It’s a mentality thing, where thinking around what is ‘useful’ and generous’ in content terms has to be a driver of the event headlines, and where our consultancy in advising brands on how we position them as part of a wider editorial context is key – and not necessarily as the headline themselves. Brand outtake can be sharper when delivered subtly, rather than when things are presented as a pure product event. Statistics. Data. Evidence. Solutions. And a sense of theatre. These are the common denominators that tick the current box, although listening to shifting needs is important so that we hit the agenda ‘now’ rather than the agenda of months ago.
- Storytellers who resonate – Planning aside, physical and engaging delivery requires much thought. The storytellers are fundamental to success and need to be bespoke to and credible for each event. The last thing you want is a ‘rent a mouth’, and if you limit speakers to brand spokespeople, you inevitably lose a slice of editorial appeal and critical story context. Each speaker needs to understand, believe in and be an expert on what they’re presenting. If you use a ‘personality’, make sure there is a good, strong reason as to why you are using that specific person. For our Potter’s Herbals event which was focussed on celebrating the medicinal power of plants as a supplier of plant based remedies, we had award-winning gardener and T.V. presenter Chris Beardshaw as one of our speakers. He is not only an expert on plants and a genuine user of Potter’s Herbals, but he had a compelling health story to tell on how herbal remedies have transformed his life. As a result he, combined with the creative news platform, generated over 60 pieces of coverage within two weeks following the event
- Interactive theatre– The media are invited to more events than they will have time for, so interactive theatre, where relevant, can create stand out. To bring our event on musculoskeletal health to life, we ran a Ballet Barre Class with the professional who taught the Made in Chelsea cast. This took the media away from the mindset of their desks to directly engage on the subject matter. Interactive theatre can also add colour and relevance to a story. At our Odor-Eaters SlimSoles blogger event we wanted to drive brand awareness with young fashionable women on the subject of foot odour, which can be a taboo subject. So we enlisted the support of an inspirational fashion blogger admired in the blogging community to help detail the story and hosted it in the high street shoe retailer ‘Office’. Each blogger was invited to pick a pair of shoes to keep and the Odor-Eaters SlimSoles were placed inside the shoe before being given back to the blogger. This opened the conversation for us to detail our news story to this audience and as a result generated piles of blogger coverage which went on to feature in the Huffington Post.
- Venue – As the media is incredibly busy, choosing a venue that is easy to get to and has excellent service and food is important. You do not want the venue to be a hurdle for quality media attendance, when it can be a clincher. Once this is selected you can work with the venue to create a special experience bespoke to that event. For example, at our power of plants event, each course for the lunch we served was themed on plants, such as herbal infusions and edible flowers. It might seem like a surface consideration, but it is a strong fourth dimension to deliver rounded media appeal,
Connections that count – The media are invited to a vast number of events so ultimately your connections with the media really do count. If you have a reputation of delivering events with passion, strong and new editorial content, relevant speakers, and smooth execution then the media will be much more inclined to attend an event in the future. Which is why we could be confident as an agency to deliver six events in the short two week window with the right levels of attendance at each, regardless of what else might be happening in wider brand spaces.
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