Events are expensive—and we don’t just mean the budget. Events swallow staff hours by the gallon! But for policy researchers and reformers, events can pay off significantly. They generate press coverage, nurture donor and member leads, and raise awareness of your mission.
Before you commit to the investment, make sure you’ll see a return. Plan your policy event the right way. Read on for specific tips, through the lens of fighting homelessness.
The photos below are Facebook posts for actual upcoming events. The organizations are not affiliated with Model Content, but if the event is relevant to you, we hope you'll go!
1. Narrow it down. Then narrow it down further. Then broaden (if you must).
Like any other piece of content, an event needs a specific call to action. For policy events, it’s not enough to rely on your organization’s overall mission (e.g., providing healthcare to homeless children).
In the end, your event can perform well for multiple audiences and CTAs. But if you don’t start with a sharp focus, you may not see results at all.
2. High-quality content encourages favorable press coverage.
Long-form content: On the press table, provide print copies of your research on regional administration of Section 8 vouchers or your metrics of success in connecting veterans to social services. Link to this information in follow-up emails. Even if today’s story is just a news brief, your in-depth context will encourage additional reporting in the months to follow.
3. Build relationships first. Like, now.
With any type of event, one-on-one relationships pave the way to success. Relationships help you secure speakers, avoid scheduling conflicts with a potential ally, and gain the attention of influencers. But with policy events, relationships are even more important.
That's it! For tips on leveraging your content in the year following an event, check out our new infographic on event planning.
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