This morning, I had a phone chat with a local entrepreneur who wants to find a way to promote an upcoming event, but they’re short on time. Like, really short.
The event is a two-week-long journey that will see international guests of honour trek down a famous waterway. There will be 20 colourful paddlers in the water, making their way from one city to another. The photo opps and the story itself is awesome. What’s even better (for this entrepreneur) is that they’re playing the role of the Canadian host.
When he outlined the plan, it sounded exciting. Unforgettable. And a perfect opportunity to promote their business all while simply sharing the story of this event. Hello, great promo!
But family life, a long winter and limited time had all played a role in the last-minute grasp for promotion.
Fifteen minutes later, we developed a four-step marketing plan that he could implement in four hours.
We looked at all the major players, the schedule and how they could best get the word out AND engage with their own audience.
Here’s what we came up with and the time allotted to each task:
- Schedule out your event and pinpoint opportunities for press coverage and photo opps: Create a schedule in a table format that clearly outlines where and when the event will be happening. This then gives clarity to the promoter on who what media they should contact and for when. The more specific you are with media on timelines and opportunities, the better they’ll respond. TIME: ONE HOUR
- Research the media contacts and reach out to them: Once that schedule is confirmed, do an hour’s worth of digging to get these contact details. Then, write an email template and send it out to the media. Then simply change the dates/times for that specific media outlet’s opportunity to cover the event so that it is targeted and specific to them. TIME: ONE HOUR
- Develop your company’s own marketing content plan: When out and about with this group, how will they leverage this opportunity to showcase an amazing event to their online audience? Live Facebook videos and mini-blog posts will make up the two-week-long content plan. It’s the perfect way to get in their fans’ face while telling a fun story and not having to put too much planning into it. Sponsored Facebook posts would complement the campaign well. We decided NOT to go with a press release and instead push the media to the Facebook page for updates. TIME: ONE HOUR
- Follow Up: They’ll have to spend time on follow-up with the media to answer any questions, sett up any interviews or check in. TIME: ONE HOUR
I encouraged – no – insisted(!) the entrepreneur not to spend more than four hours delivering this marketing plan. While the Facebook work will take time while the event takes place, the prep and outreach can be limited with a focused four-hour session. It’s a matter of planning out the event schedule, determining the opportunities and reaching out to the media directly.
I’m all about nixing the overwhelm. Breaking it down into chunks works wonders for me. Even if it’s just when I’m cleaning the kitchen. Or making dinner. Or ordering a large pizza.
The four-hour marketing plan does two things:
A) It takes the overwhelm out of the tasks
B) You’re more likely to commit when you know the tasks have been assigned limited timelines.
Turn an overwhelming, time-limited project into a four-hour, four-step plan. Look at the players involved, decide on outreach and determine your content plan.