One of the most challenging parts about working with an annual event is generating interest among reporters and producers. It's a challenge that even exciting major events face.
So how can event organizers keep keep the media – and attendees – interested year after year? We start by identifying what’s different and interesting about this year’s event. We then pitch the different story angles using a targeted approach.
B2 successfully used this approach with the Krewe of the Knights of Sant’ Yago Knight Parade held on Feb. 14, 2015. The Grand Marshal and special guest change every year, so we focused some media pitches on the components that were different than years past. And it was interesting that the Krewe royalty and Baron were represented by three generations of one family.
We secured several TV interviews during the week leading up to the parade, and a majority of the local print and TV media were onsite to cover the parade. For example, this year’s Grand Marshal, the Egypt Shriners, was featured in coverage on “Studio 10” and “Positively Tampa Bay.” One of the parade’s special guests, Glee actor Curt Mega, was interviewed on “Good Day Tampa Bay” since WTVT airs Glee locally. And the Arena family appeared on ABC Action News’ weekend broadcast to discuss the Krewe and their leadership roles this year.
But we don’t measure our success by just the number of hits we receive, but by the content the coverage entails. Since we were working with a new parade chairman and Krewe president this year, we conducted media coaching sessions with them so they felt comfortable in various interview settings and could deliver key messages in an effective way.
In addition to media relations, we helped manage the Knight Parade's Facebook and Twitter accounts. This year, a small budget for Facebook ads was set aside with the goal of growing page likes and ensuring important posts reached the Krewe’s audience. With targeted ad spending, we increased the page likes by 263 percent over six weeks, increased page engagement by double digits and reached thousands through boosted posts. In addition, our team live-tweeted the parade and through it, interacted with Glee star Curt Mega, media personalities like “A.M. Tampa Bay” host Jack Harris and social media influencers like radio personality Mike Calta and Tampa Bay Family.