A PR launch day is the perfect tool to get press, influencers, and industry leaders talking about your new brand or product. They are so much more engaging than a press release or product sample, as it’s your opportunity to bring your brand to life in an interactive and immersive way. However, the most in-demand journalists and content creators receive numerous invitations every week so how do you plan a PR launch event that will make them RSVP and cut through the competition?
In this article, we explain the benefits of PR launch events plus how to plan a successful activity that will help you reach new audiences and stimulate demand for your beauty, aesthetic or wellness brand.
The role of a PR launch event
The key role of a PR launch event is to build awareness, demand and secure media coverage for your brand, service, or product. It’s your opportunity to showcase your brand as you want it to be seen by the general public. The most successful launch events are professional, interactive, and engaging – they showcase what the product is all about, what it offers to the customer and are seamlessly planned to ensure that each guest has a positive experience with the brand, product or service.
The benefits of a PR launch event
There are numerous benefits to hosting a successful event, however, before you begin to plan your PR launch, we recommend thinking about “why are you holding an event?” It’s a simple question, but it will ensure that you approach this from the customer perspective – why should they be interested? Why should they care? What will this offer their readers or followers that will interest them? These points will help shape the style and details of your event, plus your PR goals. Below are some of the benefits or results you can expect from a PR launch event:
- Raise awareness of your brand amongst target audiences
- Build brand credibility through association with key media titles or social media accounts (i.e. as featured in)
- Establish or build relationships with key journalists, influencers, bloggers, and industry experts
- Engage and recruit brand advocates by strengthening your brand profile
- Increase sales of your product or service
- Boost brand reach across social media to new audiences
Timing is everything
You may think that hosting a launch event is best done once your product or service is available on the market, however, giving press and influencers access to exclusive content ahead of the ‘on shelf date’ is much more appealing. This ‘preview’ approach enables press and influencers to talk about a hot new product or brand before the masses know about it – it gives them “in the know” status and can create a swell of interest / demand ahead of time, so once the product goes live customers are already waiting to buy.. So once you have the launch date of your brand, product or service in mind, work backwards from this by a few weeks to find your optimum PR launch event timing.
Tip! Don’t forget to ensure that your product or service will be available for guests to trial on the day of your launch event!
How to plan a PR launch event in 4 steps
As with any event, the success of a PR launch party is all in the planning! Your ultimate goal is to host a professional event that runs as smoothly as possible and enables your brand to shine and enthral each of your guests. At Kendrick PR, we specialise in designing and hosting memorable brand, product and press events that drive brand engagement and create buzz with your target audiences. Below is our launch checklist to ensure you host a successful PR event:
1. Location, location, location: Most media houses are based in central London, whereas freelancers, bloggers as influencers are often based around the UK. If you wish for the latter to attend your brand event you must make it worth their while, as their visit to London will likely be a day trip – which is a big time investment for them which could mean passing up on other revenue-generating activities. Be considerate with your location and consider the travel time particularly for those based outside central London. London has a host of fantastic event locations from luxury hotels to creative restaurants, a London beauty PR agency like Kendrick PR will help you find your perfect venue.
If you’re planning a launch event for your clinic then it’s more appropriate to host your event there, especially if it can accommodate groups. This is the easiest way to get people through your door, experience the treatments/brands on offer and understand your offering -always ensure that you manage your treatment timings well.
2. Guest list: When writing your guest list think about the media that your target audiences typically consume and where you’d like to secure coverage or visibility for your brand. Do you want online or print coverage, or both? Are you interested in engaging with bloggers and influencers? Think about who to invite carefully and send save the dates early to maximise attendance.
3. Make it memorable: Your PR launch party or press day is not a sales pitch, it’s an educational showcase – you need to do so much more than a hard sell in order to feel the benefits discussed earlier. The most crucial element is focusing your event on a topic that will be of interest to journalists and influencers and their readership demographic, aka your target customers. If you fail to sufficiently grab their interest, they will likely not attend – or may attend and not write any articles afterwards.
To maximise your chances of a successful event get creative and think of engaging and interactive ways you can present your brand, product, or service. “Newness” is a great angle and ties in well with a launch, your guests will likely have lots of questions so consider how you can answer them in a compelling way. For example, a Q&A expert panel, 1:1 session or complimentary treatment work well at aesthetic, beauty, and wellness launch events.
4. Share your knowledge: There’s nothing worse for a guest than being shown an incredible beauty product or innovative aesthetic treatment only to have nothing to take away from the event to refer to. The critical tool in securing coverage after your launch event is the press release; this should always be on hand at the event, included in the goody bag and attached to any follow-up emails. An effective and well-written press release will encapsulate the essence of your launch party theme including what is new, how does it work, who benefits and why should people care. It must contain all the information you want the journalist to impart within their article in a succinct and punchy manner and should be one page maximum.
Goody bags are a great way to pass out marketing materials such as clinic brochures, product information leaflets, your bio/business card, a press release on the key event topic, premium samples, and introductory offers. Invest in reusable branded bags if possible – it’s great advertising!
How to get journalists and influencers to attend your event
Try to make your event as accessible as possible in terms of location and time of day. For example, consider an all-day event without any time pressure to allow for drop ins at a time that suits them or choose prescheduled appointments for a more intimate event. We always recommend managing guest expectations before they arrive by sharing an agenda for your PR launch event. Within your press release make it clear that you are inviting them to an exciting event where they will not be bombarded with a sales pitch.
Medik8 12 Weeks to Wow Event
To truly differentiate, drive sales and support Medik8 clinics, Kendrick PR proposed an event with a twist which didn’t focus solely on the WHAT of the offering (i.e. the combination of peels and skincare) but tackled the WHO and the HOW angles in a creative, compelling way.
Our creative PR team devised a ‘Speed-Skin Support Programme’: a quirky, conceptual twist on the consumer’s relationship with skincare and the state of the industry playing on the ‘commitment’ theme as the event date was set pre-Valentines day. Three skincare relationships (skincare fling, commitment-phobe, stuck in a rut) underpinned the start of the conversation, asking guests what they felt they identified with most on their playful and interactive event invitation.
At the event, guests were educated by Medik8 co-founder Daniel Isaacs who discussed the skincare scene’s likeness to dating and introduced Medik8’s 12 Week’s to WOW programme – the commitment you can stick to. Guests were also directed to 3 ‘speed dating stations’ which represented the key stages within the programme to learn more and test the products with a Medik8 expert and a leading media dermatologist. To further portray the ‘relationship’ theme all guests left with a Medik8 pink rose and branded goody bag educational material.
Kendrick PR hosted 50 attendees spanning press (including Stylist, Sunday Times Style and Glamour), beauty influencers and key industry authorities – it was a full house! The guests shared over 60 social posts which created an immediate social buzz with dedicated media coverage secured with 24 hours. Medik8 clinics also received treatment bookings from attendees. It was an event to remember for client, guests, and our team!
At Kendrick PR, we create memorable brand, product & press events and we’d love to collaborate with you on your upcoming event, please do get in touch to book a complimentary discovery call with us!