by By Kaylee Hultgren | November 01, 2008

betterSo you've invited the press. Now what? Jennifer Hawkins, president of New York City-based Hawkins International Public Relations, offers tips for planners on how to maximize your event's media coverage.

Mix media. Inviting trade journalists specific to your industry is key, but don't forget to inform the local media about your event. Suggest a story angle that relates to the community.

Be concise. Avoid sending out bulky materials before the event or providing them on-site. Instead, encourage suppliers to draft a one-page release about the company's latest developments for inclusion in a post-event press kit. Even better: Consolidate releases on a memory stick.

Play up celebs.
If you've landed a celebrity guest, exploit his newsworthy status to the fullest with multiple photo ops and meet-and-greets. "Celebrities are often amenable to Q&As, as long as you schedule them with their publicists ahead of time," says Hawkins.

Record it. Take notes during the event for follow-up press releases, and be sure to hire a photographer. "The photos can be used again and again, for newsletters, correspondence and requests from trade publications," says Hawkins.