by Cece Salomon-Lee | May 01, 2011

This checklist was compiled by Cece Salomon-Lee, principal of PR Meets Marketing and frequent writer on public relations, social media and virtual events on her blog. She was also the PR/marketing consultant for the Virtual Edge Summit.

Finding a Point Person • Do you want to manage this in-house or hire an outside agency/consultant? Will the budget support hiring a consultant who will be focused solely on media and blogger relations?

• If managing in-house, determine if the person has the right mix of writing and communications skills to engage with the media.

Developing a PR Strategy • Outline objectives, target audience, key messages and desired results that map back to the objectives.

• Create a three-month (at minimum) timeline to schedule announcements and other media activities, such as a media preview or partnership announcement.

• Beyond press releases, brainstorm two or three additional story ideas that may resonate with reporters and bloggers.

• Research media reporters and bloggers who have written about your industry or are relevant to your event.

Writing a Press Release • Be clear and concise on the significance of your event to the industry.

• Minimize marketing speak and hyperbole.

• Indicate the who, what, where and cost of your event.

• Include a quote from an industry expert.

Preparing an Online Press Room • Create an online press room that includes all press releases or announcements.

• Provide a list of frequently asked questions about your organization and event.

• Indicate a contact person (name, phone and e-mail) for all media inquiries.

• Provide additional multimedia assets that the media/bloggers can embed on their websites, such as infographics, videos and/or photos.

• Provide quotes from the organizer, exhibitors, sponsors and past/present attendees.

• Provide for a designated media room at the event. (See "On-Site" at left.)

Pitching Reporters and Bloggers • Introduce yourself to reporters via e-mail.

• Highlight reasons why they would be interested in your event.

• Offer a complimentary event pass.

• Provide a link to the media room for additional resources.

• Never send attachments without permission.

Following Up with Media • For reporters, follow up with a phone call to determine interest.

• For bloggers, don't follow up by phone unless the number is clearly indicated on the contact's website. Rather, offer to contribute a blog post on a topic related to the contact's blog or to provide a discount code to the blog's readers.

• Be respectful of reporter/blogger requests.

• Respond promptly to all media inquiries.

• Take the opportunity to engage in a conversation and not to "oversell" your event.

• Highlight all media coverage on your event website with a link to the source.