Recently, a major Southern California PR firm hosted a regional social media training session for the elderly. What seems like an impossible task was mastered by thinking like your grandma. From treating the session like a social hour popular among retirees, to having presenters wear shirts that simply ask, “Do you have a question?” in super large bold, yet simple, print, the sessions were a smashing success.

The only thing a well-oiled PR team actually does differently from any small business owner is they think beyond themselves. Larger more established companies get to where they are because they take themselves out of the picture. It’s not about their ego or how hard they’ve worked to get to where they are – be it a wonderful service or great product. Instead, successful companies focus on the target audience.

What a Local PR Company Got Right

In the case of the PR company, their clients weren’t concerned with personal attention. They just wanted the training sessions to succeed. That said, there’s no point in sleek well-branded shirts or even suits, which only make presenters unapproachable and inflexible. Getting beyond the hype, the straightforward shirts not only catch attention but they appeal to seniors in an otherwise intimidating environment. The sessions, or mini events throughout the week, were a hit with just these simple tweaks. Applying the same strategy to your next event can make the difference between hosting an event and drawing a crowd.

What a Cultural Booth Got Wrong

Take yet another case, this time a cultural exhibit in a city-sponsored event. Trying to spin a positive PR in uncertain times, the booth invited attendees to stop by and learn about Arab culture. Though the evening went smoothly, the exhibit fell short of its potential because it failed to think about the consumer. Instead of catering to the curiosity of a non-Arab demographic and gauging that attendees were there to be entertained, booth operators were concerned only with their product. In this case, the product was Arab culture, and the tunnel-vision focus on it yielded sparse attendees and unmemorable engagement. The presenters would have fared far better if they got attendees involved in the culture through dance, music, food and calligraphy instead of yawn-worthy poster presentations with over-eager presenters.

Takeaway Tips for Your Next Event

  1. Location – The PR firm and culture booth scenarios apply to companies that aren’t fixed in one location. If you have a physical shop, then you need to consider no more than a 10-15 mile radius for events you want to heavily market in. Beyond that, and you’re relying on customer loyalty that a business isn’t likely to have if they haven’t established themselves yet. Always consider your target demographic, including income, gender and age when considering where to host your event, who to collaborate with and how to strategize a set up.
  2. Going Beyond Demographics – Digital marketing is a viable place to market any event, physical or not. Take advantage of this by reaching out to like users based on the net’s heavy emphasis on psychology driven data. It’s very easy to determine a user’s mindset based on profiling and scanning interests. All major social media platforms (like Facebookd and YouTube), along with, already do this by suggesting similar likes. In real-time application, you’ll just need to distinguish whether or not your event marketing campaign needs to refine based on region. If it’s an e-event, then of course there are no other parameters that need to be adhered to other than what the industry calls “connected consumers,” as discussed here.