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Home > Haunter's Lbrary > Marketing, Revenue & Ticket Sales > Special Event Publicity Overview

Special Event Publicity Overview
By Michael Cruz

You may often hear people complain about the media, sometimes saying "I don't even pay attention to it anymore." But wander onto a golf course or into a crowded restaurant and listen to what people are discussing. The media sets the agenda, and if newspapers, radio, and television are all running stories about an event, it's a sure bet a crowd will show up just to see what all the hype is about. Successful event marketers know this and use positive publicity to its fullest advantage.

Generating positive publicity for your event involves more than meets the eye. It is the end result of a well-organized, concerted effort&emdash;it's not just a form of free advertising. Properly used, it adds credibility that advertising simply cannot buy. Advertising and sales promotions, can only go so far. You need to capitalize on the maximum in exposure for your event by actively pursuing all avenues of this Event Marketing Discipline.

Spookyworld, featured on The Tonight Show highlights their "American Horror Museum." Home to more than 200 original items from films and TV shows, including the Munster's and Freddie Krueger's razor glove from Nightmare on Elm Street. The segment not only brought Spookyworld an audience of millions of viewers exposed at no cost, but also increased the theme park's credibility.

John Denley, morbidly known as Professor Nightmare, is the owner of a lively attraction "Terror on the Wharf," in Salem, Masseschusettes. Terror is only his latest "project", yet he has always received bountiful media coverage, having been showcased on CNN. Imagine local, regional or even national media highlighting your event? This is where you must seize the opportunity!

One popular event in Buena Park, California decided to take an approach other than the standard "here we are (again)" campaign. Knott's Scary (Berry) Farm invited a reporter from a major daily newspaper to portray the "Bride of Dracula" at the theme park's annual Halloween Haunt. This popular columnist not only described her experience, but also included details on the event's attractions, accompanied by 2 color photographs. A simple invitation generated valuable coverage.

Now just imagine the cost if you have to pay for the space in a newspaper? Or the advertising expense for broadcasting a 4 minute "commercial" in front of millions of viewers? Ouch!

For this reason, never forget that you're the one responsible for thrusting your haunt into the media spotlight. News organizations, particularly the smaller ones, do not have inexhaustible resources&emdash;far from it. Many local newspapers, for example, employ a staff of only one reporter and one editor (they may even be the same person). This presents a marketer with an opportunity to step in and provide a story. To capture the media's attention, you need to present information containing value. This is one reason why Spookyworld and Terror on the Wharf generated coverage&emdash;it was their ability to provide newsworthy and timely information which is considered "of interest" to an audience.

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