People often say big brands have it easy because people naturally link to them and they don't have to work for their links. But those large companies have invested a large amount of resources into marketing and public relations to gain that position.
Let's explore some aspects of a newsworthy event that could give your company the edge on the competition.
One-Time or Annual
The event could range from a one-time charity auction to an annual event. The advantage of a recurring event is each year it builds upon the previous year's exposure.
Just look at the exposure Macy's gets from their annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. That's the result of more than 80 years of work. Go for an annual event to maximize the exposure.
Find a cause that your company is passionate about. If no single cause stands out, find one that most in your company will stand behind. That will make it easier to keep the momentum going year after year.
When deciding on the event, take into consideration how much exposure it will naturally get. You're going to have to promote it, so the less you have to convince others of its importance, the better.
Ask yourself if reporters and bloggers will be drawn into writing about the event. Will people want to share the event on social media?
If you're really bold, consider something audacious and original. This will increase the chances of it going viral and making national news.
Find highly visible people to be a part of the event. A national company should look for someone with that type of reach. In a local market? Then find a local personality.
Remember, politicians are always looking for good photo opportunities. Plus, most have their own public relations (PR) people to promote your event.
Also, consider teaming up with a local non-profit to lend credibility and exposure to your event. Once again, most already have the PR aspect in place.
Consider the logistics of the project. Does your company have the resources to pull this off every year? Is this something that can start small, and then grow each year as your business grows?
Cost is always a major factor in deciding what type of event to do. Often employee time is under budgeted for what it will take to put an event together.
Here are some ways to reduce the cost of the event:
- Use volunteers.
- Create a college internship for someone majoring in public relations or marketing.
- Team up with a public relations company.
- Team up with a local business college to turn it into a class project.
Finally, be realistic about the results the event will deliver. If you're doing this just for links, I doubt you'll be satisfied. After all, this is a lot of work.
If you're approaching it from a marketing and public relations standpoint, then you'll be happy. You'll have expanded your brand, and gained links at the same time.
With some work, employee involvement, and partnering with others in the community, you can design a newsworthy event that will help build your brand. Now you'll be the one people are naturally linking to.