Getting pre-publicity and post-publicity for a fundraising event can play a major role in alerting the public to the need of the charity, organization or school as well as getting members of the public to attend the event in hopes of raising more dollars.
Your local Social Event Columnist should be one of your first contacts – and most important. You should also be communicating with the Columnist’s Editor perhaps as much as 6 months to a year in advance with the goal of getting the Editor to put your social event on his or her assignment calendar – since it fills up extremely quickly.
It’s also very important to be prepared when the writer arrives on the day or night of the event. Even though the writer may have covered the event in previous years and is familiar with the charity – and even if the writer was sent or given a pre-event press kit or initial program – make sure a complete package of information is presented to the writer upon arrival. The exact contents of that package will be discussed in Social Event Columnists: Part 2.
I’m often asked by Event Chairs, “Where do we seat a Social Event Columnist?” I always tell them the same thing. “Greet them warmly – and show them to the best seat possible.” But keep in mind you should reserve the absolute best seats in the venue for those likely to donate the most money. Society Columnists are great at what they do and can get their story no matter where they are seated.
When the event is done a Chair or event representative should personally thank the Columnist for attending and ask if they need any other information, such as the list of top selling packages.
It’s also important that the Chair and Columnist share telephone numbers and email addresses so there is an easy exchange of the most critical information of all – the total amount raised – which could take hours, if not longer, to add up.
And finally, be sure to forward that total by 10 a.m. the next day. Social event Columnists are on deadlines too. The earlier they receive the information – the easier and less stressful you make it for them.
I’ve learned over the years that social event columnists are wonderful professionals – who enjoy covering their city’s major fundraisers – and reporting on the charitable organizations that strive to make their city a better place to live.
It’s the Event Chair’s responsibility to make the writer’s job as easy as possible by giving them the information they need in advance of an event – during the event – and immediately after the event.
The more you take note of a Social Event Columnists important role in making your event successful – the more the Columnist will take note of you and your event.
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