9 Ways to Increase Media Interest In Your Event

Publicity can dramatically change any event, whether a team-building exercise, presentation or quarterly meeting. With media support, corporate training can easily be transformed into a social occasion. A company’s anniversary will become a big celebration for the local business community and a new product presentation will be an important industry event. Media can be responsible for tens of thousands of people talking about your business. Below are a few ways to increase media interest for your event.

1. Prepare your strategy before distribution

Before sending the first press release about an event, consider your overall strategy for working with the media. It is very important to understand which media editors will be interested. If it is a social project or a particularly large-scale project, then the news media will want to write about you. If the project is connected with the internal tasks of the company, influential industry magazines and blogs may be interested.

2. Style is your everything

Each publication writes in its own style: Some use loud headlines, only publish texts shorter than three paragraphs or insert professional jargon, which can be unclear for a wider audience. You can save an editor’s time by adapting your press release for mass media. It is not necessary to rewrite the text every time, rather make minor edits to get to a couple of versions for different sources. If in doubt, read a couple of the publication’s articles then re-evaluate your text. If it doesn’t feel out of place, send it.

3. Follow the hierarchy

Generally, the media falls into two categories: mass (tabloid) and professional. The rule of the food chain works for both categories. When sending material to mass media, first write to those with large readerships, then write to smaller ones. If your press release interests larger organizations, then lower-ranked websites and publishers may repost the materials with reference to the original source. You’ll save time and effort, plus secure the trust of the large mass media because uniqueness of the original publication will belong to them.

The situation is slightly different with professional publications. In this case it is important that the information is presented individually to each publication—never send the same text to multiple media outlets. The best way around this is to dispense information to a variety of sources. In one release you can discuss the event’s VIPs or speakers, in another add other event schedule highlights and in yet another, describe an interactive element.

4. Make plans and follow them on time

You will need to outline the approximate plan of action before sending the first press release about your event to mass media. How many qualitative press releases (containing real information) can you prepare before the event? How often are you planning to send them to the media and to which publications are they going to be sent initially?

Make a schedule of the press releases, list the planned topics and never confuse matters with post-event press releases. The news that dispatched a day or two after an event will have long been “spoiled” and only dilute the newsfeed. Present your story as something hot and actual. Only then will it be interesting to mass media and readers.

5. How many emails will be enough?

The most important question often occurs after long preparation: How do you write to mass media editorial offices? If you can’t find any individual editor contact details, simply write to a corporate email—this is usually found under “contact us” on the organization’s website. Social networks can also help: Journalists and top bloggers sometimes include their email addresses there.

But please don’t send a press release as a personal message on Facebook or LinkedIn. Public people appreciate their personal space—for work they use email, for chatting with friends and for operational issues they use instant messengers or social networks. Do you like receiving promotional mailings in WhatsApp? At best, the material will be sent to the recycle bin; at worst you will be blacklisted.

6. Forget about bulk emails

Learn to write personalized messages to reach journalists and editors, otherwise your messages may be blocked by mail spam filters. Don’t be lazy: Send press releases in separate messages rather than mass mailing 10 addresses. Ideally, it is worth writing personally to leading journalists or editors, addressing them by name in the greeting. If there are no such contacts, it is appropriate to send it to a general editorial email address.

Try to make your letter a little bit different to the hundreds of press releases that editors receive every day. Begin with a personal greeting or a simple explanation as to who you are and why you are reaching out to the publication. It is important that your letter stands out from the general stream and that editorial staff immediately understand that it is an interesting subject worth working on.

7. Don’t dilute your brand with plugs

A logo on each photo and a long list of partners at the end of a press release can become a stumbling block for publication. Most media clearly separate advertising and editorial content, therefore they will remove info about commercial partners or even ask you to pay to have the news published. But what if you have already promised partners that you will mention them in the publicity materials? Our advice is simple, make the event interesting for the media, regardless of brands. The more you push the media to mention your partner companies through press releases or at the event itself, the less likely they will be to want to share it. Take an organic approach: Let the catering be so good that visitors and journalists want to know who is responsible for the buffet reception, and let the sponsor provide gifts.

The same rule applies concerning photos with company logos. Even if such photographs are published in the media, “advertising blindness” will affect readers and the logo will remain unnoticed. In this case, bold colors and striking color combinations, simple symbols and fonts will create the strongest identity. Just remember, mobile operators have already discovered this and have created strong brand identities without even mentioning their own name in the branding.

8. Share backstage

The final photo report or video from an event does not always show the real picture. Go slightly further and show another side of the action: the preparation process, final rehearsal, first guests meeting, etc. Backstage is often perceived as something very personal, because you show what wasn’t seen by active participants at the event. In addition, these shots are valued by trade publications for which off-screen material is more important and more interesting than a traditional multimedia report.

9. Build relationships

Working with the media is a relationship. Start building that relationship right away. To start, simply show care and a serious attitude: Save an editor’s or journalist’s time by sending prepared and crafted material which corresponds to the style of the publication. Don’t try to include all the info about the event in a single press release. If additional info is needed, they will write or call to get details.

And, of course, keep a database of friendly media, including personal email addresses and phone numbers of editors and journalists that are open to you. They have to be first to receive the details of hot and fresh news about your projects. After all, the one who possesses information rules the world!

Source: http://planyourmeetings.com/9-ways-to-drive-media-interest-for-your-event/

5 ways to motivate your team with recognition-rich meetings

Like some of our favorite superheroes who wore masks to avoid the spotlight, some of your best in-house talent are doing great work behind the scenes. Recognizing their efforts out of the spotlight is one of the best ways to keep your team motivated, as they chase those business wins both big and small! Ultimately, it’s all about building a culture of recognition in the workplace.

The importance of employee recognition is indisputable, so it’s crucial to prioritize recognition in the workplace. One of the best places to start with: The humble meeting.

You’ve probably had so many meetings in your lifetime, that you’ve quickly lost count. It’s because meetings are so regular and ubiquitous that they’re perfect opportunities to pioneer a better, stronger culture. So you know it’s worth doing, how are you going to get there?

Here are five tips for building a culture of recognition in the workplace through your meetings.

1. Cook up an appreciation sandwich

It’s as effective as it sounds delicious! An appreciation sandwich aims to start and conclude the meeting with opportunities to show appreciation to the team.

A good way to begin is through establishing the agenda and recognizing your team’s collective efforts in the broader business mission. Take time to identify how everyone’s work has pushed the team and the company as a whole closer to their goals.
Ultimately, you’re putting everyone’s efforts in context of the business vision and bringing everyone onto the same page.
Conclude the meeting with an opportunity for individual employees to identify wins from fellow team members. These moments of appreciation don’t have to be long. Rather, effective recognition requires regularity.

2. Bring everyone onboard

Culture begins with everyone. First and foremost, your managers aren’t omniscient beings, so it’s near impossible for them to catch everything. They won’t always be there to witness Sally’s nearly seamless software configuration or Dave’s accounting magic at it’s best come tax time—and they can’t be expected to witness everything.

Recognition from fellow employees means it’s easier to celebrate all of the wins—no more forgotten wins slipping through the cracks. Furthermore, many people often find peer recognition in the workplace the most rewarding.
The end of your meeting is a great time to give a quick shout-out and pat on the back to those legends that have gone above and beyond.

One way of collecting those wins is through a quick pre-meeting survey, giving everyone the chance to nominate people who they’ve seen doing great things that week. Creating a physical “wins” board is also a great option for recognizing everyone’s efforts and it becomes a conversation starter around the office.

3. Follow up with an actionable summary

The secret to brilliant meetings isn’t just about what happens within those minutes at the table. A successful meeting involves the following.

Everyone walks in knowing the agenda and objectives of the meeting.

Everyone walks away with greater knowledge, understanding and a clear direction to meeting team objectives. Excitement levels are high following a productive meeting, your next best steps are mapped out and your team is onboard to put your game plan into action.

Within 24 hours of your meeting coming to an end, it’s crucial to send a follow up email summarizing key points raised in the meeting—the sooner, the better! An actionable summary highlights the current situation, next best steps and team wins to celebrate.

4. Celebrate curiosity and learning

Investing in someone is a testament to your belief in their potential. You’re on their team, recognizing the blood, sweat and tears going into their work, appreciating their efforts and equipping them with the tools they need.

Ultimately, encouraging learning and development goes hand in hand with a recognition-rich workplace, so take the time in each meeting to check in with your self-motivated learners. Who’s taken time out of their week to “upskill” or recently completed a new certification or course?

Through encouraging curiosity and recognizing wins you’re motivating your team to go above and beyond and chase those business wins!

5. Always, always, say thank you

“Thank you” is one of those phrases parents will hammer into our heads from the time we’re little, yet it’s often overlooked and underrated. Saying thanks is a no-brainer for nurturing a culture of recognition in the workplace.

The secret to saying thanks the right way: Be specific. Identify the specific ways key individuals have gone the extra mile in the past week or month and thank them for their work. Often, big change can start simply with small words of gratitude.

At the end of the day…

Great business begins with great people. You’ve got the team together, so showing them you care and are on the same page with the same mission is a big motivator. When you’ve got your dream team together doing great work, everyone’s a winner—make sure they feel that way! How are you pursuing a stronger culture of recognition in the workplace?

Source: http://planyourmeetings.com/5-ways-to-motivate-your-team-with-recognition-rich-meetings/
Picture Source: http://www.dianedavidson.me/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/happy_people.jpg

7 Ways to Stop Forgetting Stuff at the Hotel

For many planners, discovering new cities or re-visiting old favorites is one of the more appealing aspects of the job. Accidentally leaving personal items behind at the hotel however, is not – but it’s an all too common occurrence in the rush to check out. So how to fool-proof your departure no matter how short you are on time? Try these simple hacks to help you keep track of your stuff when traveling for work or pleasure – and make it back home with everything you left with:

Set up the office.
As soon as you roll into your room, resist the urge to collapse on the bed, remain in work-mode for a few more minutes and set up your office headquarters. Clear the desk of all hotel items, signs, stationary, clickers, menus, etc., and stick ‘em in a drawer. If the room is short on desk-space, supplement it by dragging over an end-table or coffee table to add surface space to your work area. Lay out (non-confidential) work files, pens, snacks, waters, etc., and you’re ready for action.

Build your bathroom base camp.
Next, do the same in the bathroom. Start by clearing the sink area of everything but the drinking glasses and repurpose them to hold makeup, spare change, toothbrushes, shavers, etc. Organizing items in drinking glasses prevents items from rolling off the sink or sitting in puddles of water – and seems to result in less shifting around of your toiletries by the housekeeping staff.

For clothes, think open plan.
Quit hiding your clothes, shoes and accessories in closets or drawers, or on the back of the bathroom door. Tidy as it may be, placing stuff out of sight also puts it out of mind, making items easy to overlook when you’re racing to catch a flight. Instead, keep everything in full view, so when it’s time to pack up, items will be easier to spot – and quicker to collect and stuff in your suitcase.

Make the bathroom into a walk-in closet.
Centralize and store everything but your work supplies and electronics in the bathroom. Hang clothes up on the shower-rod. Store shoes and luggage under the sink. Before showering, hang clothes temporarily on the back of the bathroom door to help knock out wrinkles without ironing. Another big reason to avoid hotel drawers, closets and luggage racks? Doing so may help reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs back home in your luggage and clothes.

Contain your chaos – to only 2 areas.
Are you one of those travelers who throws stuff all over the room and then panics when a co-worker drops by? Granted, most people like to spread out a bit when on the road, but make your life easier by limiting your chaos to just two areas: the desk and the bathroom. This way, if your client drops by unannounced, all you have to do is close the bathroom door to hide your clothes, tidy up the desk (or not, if you want to look extra industrious!), and graciously offer the boss a seat, without needing to clear space.

Hang on to your phone charger.
Phone chargers top the list of left-at-the-hotel items, with phones following not far behind. So, how to hang onto both? Plug in where you’re more likely to see them easily, for example on the desk where outlets are usually plentiful. Plug in, leave the charger and phone in one of your favorite pairs of shoes and place on the desk. When its time to leave the room, just slip your shoes on and drop the charger right into your bag. Another reason to keep the phone out of arm’s reach? You’ll fall asleep faster and rest better with fewer phone-related disruptions.

Pack up your circus tent in seconds.
No matter when you’re heading out, you’ll leave less behind if you pack up almost everything calmly and neatly the night before you leave, versus in a tizzy 5 minutes before heading to the airport. Leave only the absolute essentials unpacked, place them next to the sink in the bathroom, and leave your packed suitcase in the bathroom as well. In the morning, toss the unpacked essentials in the bag and make your getaway, quickly and stress-free.

Happy travels!

Source: http://blog.elitemeetings.com/2017/02/7-ways-to-stop-forgetting-stuff-at-the-hotel/

10 Spring Wedding Ideas for 2017

Spring is upon us. To get us in the mood for bright flowers and longer days, here are 10 wedding ideas for Spring.

1. Lighthearted Wedding Invite

Some wedding themes, such as the incredibly popular "woodland" event, can work with every season. What changes about these themes is the color palette and surrounding details. We love the "foxy" example above with its muted color palette and more playful design. Another all-year staple is the floral wedding invite. Again, during fall and winter you might see florals in darker palettes and more formal illustrations. For spring weddings, you should highlight the sunnier days ahead with a vibrant and juicy palette.

2. Practical Destination Locales

If you want to have a destination wedding in a desert or Southern climate, spring might be a better choice than summer to keep yourself from melting in your wedding dress. This Palm Springs wedding (above) showcases the beauty of an outdoor event in a desert climate. However, this setting in August would be seriously uncomfortable.

3. Pretty Wedding Cakes

It's time to leave the rich jewel tones of winter behind and embrace wedding cakes decorated with sweet florals and pastel shades. This last winter, wedding cakes trended towards dark and metallic, so one that both looks and feels lighter will highlight the mood of your spring event.

4. Bridal Separates

For those brides in northern destinations, spring doesn't necessarily mean guaranteed warm and sunny weather. Although you certainly won't need a faux fur shrug, you also might not want a strapless gown for your outdoor ceremony. We're in love with bridal separates, not just for their chic aesthetic, but also their practicality. Pair a blush tulle skirt with an ever-so-slightly retro sweater for the ultimate spring wedding sophistication.

5. Farm Wedding Perfection

Weddings at local farms can be so charming during summer and fall, but we think there's something really magical about hosting them in the spring. With the budding leaves on trees and green pastures popping up, it's a significant and meaningful backdrop for your new life together. Plus, cute animals.

6. Rainy Day Preparation

Spring weddings have one big issue: the unpredictability of weather. And the old adage about rain being good luck is of little comfort when your guests are getting drenched. Spring days can go from sunny to apocalyptic rain showers in moments. Make sure to be prepared in a very stylish way by providing umbrellas to your guests in case of a sudden sprinkle. You can also incorporate colorful umbrellas into your ceremony and reception decor, or even your exit!

7. Focus on Greenery

Greenery-centric arrangements have grown so much in popularity over the last few years. However, for spring weddings these centerpieces and bouquets are even more appropriate. Particularly in early spring, flowers may not be in full swing yet, but leaves are. We love elegant greenery hanging installations as a way to transform a blank space into a spring paradise .

8. Spring-Inspired Flowers

For late spring weddings, bring on the tulips! This quintessential spring flower is often the first bloom to pop up and can be readily found during this time of year in a multitude of colors. This garden wedding centerpiece with orange tulips and carrots is a whimsical nod to spring, whereas the elegant boxed centerpiece reflects the bursting of fragrant gardens after a cold winter.

9. Herb Favors

While not all of your guests might have the green thumb necessary to nurture delicate flowers, everyone can grow herbs. Give your guests herbal favors either in seed packets or already potted starts that double as your centerpieces and reception decor.

10. Playful Details

The best spring wedding ideas are those that involve a whole lot of fun! Shake off the formality of winter events by adding playful details to your spring wedding. Throw in a pinwheel or two. Hand out lollipops. Create a dynamic kids' table that will make all the grown-ups green with envy. Spring weddings are the perfect time of year to play with whimsy.

Source: ​http://www.mywedding.com/wedding-ideas/colors-themes/10-trending-spring-wedding-ideas/
Picture Credit: http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/,scalefit_600_noupscale/56e9b0981500002a000b2411.jpeg

5 Conversations to Have Before Getting Married

Maybe you're in premarital counseling right now, or maybe it's the last thing on your mind. Either way, you already know there are a few touchy issues engaged couples are "supposed" to talk about before making it official. Well, we asked a few seasoned couples therapists to tell it to us straight. They mapped out the tough talks to have with your soon-to-be spouse before heading down the aisle, so consider this your guide to counseling yourselves.

You should talk about: Kids

If it hasn't already come up, now's the time to discuss whether you want children. But here's the surprising thing: You shouldn't stop there. Our experts agreed that it's important to discuss where you each stand on the issues that'll crop up once you start trying to have kids and when the tykes are actually around. "Are you open to adoption if it's necessary?" asks Rebecca Hendrix, a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York. And once you have kids, "How should they be disciplined when they disobey?" asks Vivian Jacobs, a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York. Issues like these can become knock-down, drag-out fights later on, so it's better to discuss them now.

But it's okay to disagree on: How many kids you think you want right now. "Once a couple has their first kid, they'll have a better idea of how many children they really want," says Jaclyn Bronstein, a licensed mental health counselor in New York. Right now, the number isn't as important, Jacobs explains, "as long as you agree on a timetable -- how many years you want to wait before having children."

You should talk about: Money and your careers

One of the biggest things married couples fight about is finances, so talk now to skirt arguments later, Bronstein says. Decide whether you'll pool all your money or keep separate accounts, and determine which accounts you'll draw from for everyday expenses and for big investments. And if one of you is a spender and the other is a saver, choose amounts to set aside for the future and for personal spending that you'll both be satisfied with. "No one has the right answer to what your money strategy should be," Jacobs says. "You just have to live within your budget, figure out what works for you, and be reasonable and communicate." On the same note, talk about your career plans. Where do you want to be in five years? How do you see your 9-to-5 -- and your salary -- evolving over your lifetime? Getting both your expectations in line with reality will cut down on money-related arguments later, Jacobs says.

But it's okay to disagree on: How many hours you should be pulling at work right now. "If someone has a busy job and works 12- or 14-hour days, that might be a big issue at the beginning of a marriage," Bronstein says. "But maybe they agree that getting financially stable is more important in the long run." That's a trade-off that works, she says.

You should talk about: Religion and values

Our counselors all brought up faith and moral values -- they might not seem like a big deal now, but religion and morals play a bigger role in marriage than some couples expect. "For a lot of people, fights happen when the other person turns out to be more religious than they thought," says Bronstein. Adds Jacobs, "You might go into marriage not caring, but the problems start as the children arrive and you're deciding how to raise them." So talk about your faith, and how you see it affecting your shared life, right now.

But it's okay to disagree on: Issues with your in-laws. Those family matters are common hiccups in any marriage and they're survivable. For example, "You can agree that it's okay he goes to see his parents and it's okay that you don't come every time," Jacobs says. The crucial part is that neither of you feels like the in-laws get priority over you, she says.

You should talk about: How you'll handle fights

Arguments are inevitable, but our experts agreed that it's how couples handle them that determines whether they'll get through the fights. "Make sure you understand each other's way of managing conflict," Hendrix says. She suggests thinking back to a recent fight: What happened? "Did one person refuse to talk, while the other couldn't sleep without resolving the issue?" she asks. Whatever your argument style is, hash out what counts as acceptable fight behavior and what's off-limits. "Tweak how you handle arguments to accommodate each other. If she doesn't like to talk about it at 2 a.m., learn to pull back a little," Hendrix advises.

But it's okay to disagree on: The little things. "People are going to disagree about how to run the house, chores, who cleans the bathroom," Hendrix says. "But those are the kinds of things that people can, if they work on their communication style, work through."

You should talk about: Your deal breakers and your bucket lists

If there's anything else that you know will drive you nuts in a marriage, it's better to chat about it sooner rather than later. "Let your partner know that you won't be able to tolerate it if he's always flirtatious with other women or if she blows all the money at Atlantic City," says Jacobs. On the other hand, you should also be up front about the big life goals you're dying to accomplish. Aiming to live in another country or own your own business someday? "Make sure your partner knows about that dream and is open to it," Hendrix says.

But it's okay to disagree on: Your hobbies and pastimes. "If your partner isn't into one of your passions at all, you can continue to do it on your own," Hendrix says. The key is making sure that you're both okay with how much time you spend apart.

Source: ​https://www.theknot.com/content/things-to-talk-about-before-marriage
Picture: ​http://www.terranea.com/assets/images/masthead/mast-5.jpg

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