Part 1: How to get coverage in the social pages

Posted on: October 27th, 2008

I love a party. The best party I ever went to was a wake. Let’s just say if it was the subject of a joke it would start something like this: “Fourteen people and a blow-up dolphin are in a spa…” but that’s a story for another time because I would like to keep my job and reputation in tact.

We all know Sydney loves a party, but last week we learned that Sydney really, really loves a pool party, especially if it’s hosted by the notorious party master, Justin Hemmes.

Last Thursday we helped Justin launch ivy’s Pool Party, which was named Party of the Week by Amy Cooper in The Sun Herald S; just one of 14 clippings secured pre and post event.

At Stellar* we are often set the task of getting coverage in the social pages. This is not easy; competition is fierce, coverage can’t be guaranteed and reviews can be harsh.

If you’ve got aspirations for your event to make the socials or get the kind of coverage that will generate awareness, increase patronage, sell product or create buzz, the following list of tips will come in handy.

We’re posting this in two parts; the remaining tips will follow later in the week.

1. First, check your objectives. Clients often want a party without really drilling down on what the objective is and who their target consumers are. Who can blame them really? Parties are fun, however your objective might not be best achieved via an event. Similarly, if your targets are boomers, the social pages aren’t a good match and you should look at a more intimate event with different media targets.

2. Have a cool hook or theme that relates to your product or brand. The theme must be visually strong because coverage in the social pages is concise and image driven – so you’ve only got a small opportunity to get your message across. Plus, always include the brand or product name in the party title so that at the very least you’ll get a mention here.

3. You’re going to need young, good looking people, models and celebrities (they don’t have to be A list). That’s the simple truth of it. You’re going to need these people and lots of them, unless your product or brand is super sexy, has a certain level of cache, or the event idea is so out-of-this-world no one has ever heard or seen anything like it.

4. Events that offer a unique experience always have an advantage. They help with rsvp’s, talkability and coverage. Offer this via a ‘first ever’ happening, a special guest, a unique location, an exclusive performance – anything people can’t normally get, have access to, or experience. Aside from celebrities, media also love access to senior management, particularly if they have a public profile.

We’ll outline some practical tips in part 2, later this week.

Posted by Renee Creer

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2 Responses

  1. Julian Cole says:

    What a great topic for a post! I love it, look forward to reading the next installment. It would be cool if you could drill down a little further on the topics such as, with getting good looking people; Do you go to a modeling agency invite their models, get your little intern to trawl The Facebooks, rely on Justin?

    You have to admit it was probably made easier with the networks that Justin had, to make it to the social pages, I think it would be much harder if the brand manager of Purina Dog foods asked for a kick arse party! However happy to be proven wrong!

  2. admin says:

    Hey Julian

    As I said, with a great brand, idea, reason for a party you’ll probably make the socials regardless of who’s at your event – but having certain names or faces does increase your chances.

    We work with each client to get the ‘right’ people for their brand, otherwise what’s the point? We have our own database of celebrities, industry and social scene identities, influencers etc and we work with client databases or use other networks (talent agencies are good) to get an appropriate guest list together. In the case of Mr Hemmes, he has a huge database.

    We wouldn’t trawl social networking sites and randomly pluck out good looking people! If there were suitable fan sites we’d consider inviting members. We don’t recommend models for the sake of having models. We usually hire models (if appropriate for the event) to work as staff or performers. Using them is a great way to help bring a theme to life. At Pool Party, a number of models were used as wait staff and were beautifully styled by Alex Zabotto Bentley to match the theme; they really set the tone and vibe for the party.

    As you’ve rightly pointed out, some brands lend themselves to the social pages and have an obvious natural advantage; others just get it right and achieve social coverage. You can’t deny Justin’s network but you can’t rely on it either. You still need to deliver a fantastic event (which he does every time), otherwise you’ll end up with the kind of social coverage you don’t want.

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