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Special Events and Public Relations

WHEN A SPECIAL EVENT IS NOT REALLY SPECIAL

When you turn over a special event project to a committee member or even to a paid public relations consultant, are your expectations realistic?

HOW SPECIAL IS YOUR EVENT? By Nann Miller, APR Fellow

“Special” according to the dictionary definition means"uncommon" or “noteworthy” My guess is that when a public relations professional is asked if he is experienced in special event training, the employer has for the PR person one primary goal. He is expecting the PR person to deliver an event that will plese the company brass, that the program will sell tickets, and hopefully pay for itself. Even better, the event should attract local media attention.

There are some of us in the public relations profession who have dared risk hundreds of thousands of dollars of client money to plan a special event that does not only have local press interest, but that will garner national media attention as its prime purpose. Media attention is important. The project, though, should have a higher goal. Such a goal can be to change legislation, bring dollars to floundering city real estate, create visibility for non profit contributions, or to introduce new products and unusual services.

Do the universities teach the “how” to go about such planning? My experience as a teacher of advanced public relations at Cal State has found that for the most part they do not. Yes, you are offered lists of what has to be done. Rarely do a teacher delve into the strategic thinking that demonstrate how an event can produce any one of these sucessful goals. Examples of such successful projects will be offered on this site.

"The World's Largest Root Beer Float" event
for Hires Root Beer - Procter & Gamble,
Los Angeles, CA.