Marketing + promotion
Think about who will attending your event and why. How will you reach out to them? Preparing a communications plans can help.
Background and context
How does it deliver/fit in to your business objectives?
What do you want your communications to achieve? Why are you communicating at all? Do people need to start behaving in a different way? Does you audience need to know something?
What do you want people to think, hear and believe as a result of your communication?
What is it that you’re trying to say to people?
Use bullet points and keep the message simple and limit your key messages to three
Who are you communicating to?
Which internal and external stakeholders/audiences have a key interest in your activity?
Through which channels would you like to communicate (internal and external, including Facebook, London.edu, media etc?)
Links, dependencies and risks
Will anything going on in the School impact this activity or vice versa?
What communications will help you achieve your objective? How will you the message be delivered and what result do you intend (coverage, click throughs, sign ups etc)
How will you know that your key messages have reached your audience?
Over what period will your communications take place and what are the key peaks in activity (when will the activity take place)?
Who will be responsible for delivering the components of the plan?
Engage your audience by:
Having an up-to-date website
Adding your event to the CampusGroups events calendar. Make events visible to external users by selecting: “This event shows on the calendar for everyone on the school-wide calendar” in section 6.
The LBS Communications team manages all of the School’s media work and all School-wide communications.
When planning your event, please contact them early to find out how they can help you. This is particularly important in the busy final few months of the academic year when many student clubs hold their conferences.
Phone: 020 7000 7111
Senior PR Manager
Senior PR & Public Affairs Manager
Internal Communications Manager
Internal Communications Manager
Is your event Level 1, 2 or 3?
The Communications team prioritises its support for the many student-led events that happen each year by splitting them into three levels.
Level 1: Select flagship events *EUROUT, WiB, China Business Forum, Social Impact
Level 2: Flagship & highlight events
Level 3: All other events
Internal Communications can help you maximise the reach of your events and activities within the School community. This is what they can offer your event depending on that what level the Student-led Initiatives team has allocated.
One-hour ‘Communications Surgery’
They can provide a ‘Communications Surgery’ to discuss PR and Internal Communications opportunities and planning and how to manage media, reputation, risk and branding (Level 1; Level 2).
They can provide a template for you to complete and will review your final invitation (Level1; Level 2).
They can provide a list of journalists for you to invite. If spokespeople are willing to be interviewed, you may also offer interviews (Level 1; Level 2).
A designated Internal Communications team member to provide support with professionalising emails and advice on promotional activities (Level 1).
School-wide promotion in all appropriate central Internal Communications channels (campus info screens, Life@LBS, Yammer, School meetings). Support with competitions and giveaways (Level 1; Level 2). Level 3 events will be publicised using the plasma screens.
Appropriate contributions to event follow up – reporting on communications, reflections and lessons learnt, sharing event outputs (Level 1). Level 2 and 3 events outcomes will be shared with the School community.
Event promotion on campus plasma screens (Level 1; Level 2; Level 3).
What the PR team does not offer:
Contacting journalists on your behalf: we advise on media invitations, but we don’t approach journalists on your behalf.
Press releases: they are not the best way to promote your event. Journalists mainly will only cover an event if they are attending and or interviewing speakers.
Brokering media partnerships as they do not necessarily guarantee coverage. The best way to secure coverage is on the strength of the event – your content and speakers.
Advice on sponsorship/ media advertising partnerships. We work exclusively with journalists in the editorial departments of top tier and specialist publications. Sponsorship and advertising packages are handled by separate, dedicated, teams at these publications and we cannot assist in securing these for your event.
Social media support. For advice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On-day media handling (meeting and escorting journalists). We recommend dedicating a member of your organising committee to meet and greet arriving members of the media and facilitate interviews between journalists and speakers.
Press support for events run under Chatham House Rule.
Guarantees of coverage. Press presence or coverage is never guaranteed. Journalists may attend an event in person and even conduct an interview, but may not end up reporting on the event. This is their prerogative and must be respected.
What Internal Communications does not offer:
Content for external audiences: all of our messages are aimed at members of the School community.
Website and social media support: please contact email@example.com for this.
School-wide emails: they are only sent out in exceptional circumstances – we will advise you to use the central channels first.
Graphic design: we are not trained graphic designers but we can help you to contact a designer.
Think about what your objective is. You can then:
1. Alert journalists to your event- Consider a media invitation.
2. Showcase commentary from the event and build the club/event profile- A media invitation is still your strongest chance of getting press coverage. Journalists are unlikely to cover an event they have not attended. Interviews with speakers also increase the chances of securing coverage.
It is also worth considering approaching representatives from London Business School’s Internal Communications.
If you wish to invite press to your event, you will need to obtain written approval from the speakers first (some speakers may refuse journalists' presence).
You may also like to consider asking your speakers if they have any specific media contacts they would like you to invite on their behalf.
If you are quoting another company or organisation in any of your material, you must send your communication to the Press Office at that organisation out of courtesy.
Communicating with media – general rules
All press communication referencing London Business School should be sent to the Press Office for approval to ensure consistent School messaging and branding. Please allow at least 24 hours for approvals.
Please keep London Business School’s Press Office notified of any attending media.
Please alert the Press Office to requests from journalists for proprietary content post-event before providing this to the journalist.
How should I approach journalists?
… give journalists with sufficient notice of your event (2 weeks) and allow at least 24 hours before following up.
… paste media invitations into the body of an email.
… ensure the London Business School + student club logo lockup is clearly showing at the top of your email invitation.
… top and tail all emails with personal salutations and sign-offs.
… indicate that you are willing to try and facilitate interviews with speakers if your speakers have previously indicated to you that they would be open to such approaches. Do not suggest interviews are guaranteed.
… ensure follow-up emails or calls are sensitive and respectful of the fact that the journalists are busy people and important to the School. They cannot cover every event.
… ensure the School’s Press Office is informed of any journalists that have indicated they are attending your event as soon as possible.
… direct any enquiries from journalists, other than in direct response to a communication from you, to the School’s Press Office.
DO NOT …
… send a ‘blast’ email, even with contact details in BCC.
… include attachments in your email invitations to journalists.
… capitalise, underline, bold or mark with a high priority flag any follow-up communications in order to attract attention.
… promise interviews with any journalists until you have run the specific request (including details of the outlet, journalist and subject of the interview) by the speaker. Speakers may indicate a willingness to consider an interview, but decline a particular request. This is their prerogative.
… invite media later than 2 weeks prior to the event; a follow-up reminder may be sent closer to the date.
… ask media to purchase a ticket to attend your event. If your Club is not able to offer complimentary tickets, then media should not be invited.
Using a PR agency
Some student-led initiatives choose to enlist the help of a public relations agency to promote their event through contacts they already have. If you have also approached the School Press Office for support, please let them know that you are also working with an agency. This avoids duplication of effort and allows for a complementary approach.
Please ensure that the agency employed remains in contact with the School’s Press Office and seeks approval from the London Business School Press Office for all press releases prior to distribution to the press.
Deadlines for Press Office support
Two weeks before your event, London Business School Press Office will return approved press invitation and press list and you should send out press invitations to press list.
Chatham House Rule
The Chatham House Rule states:
When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to report what is said, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.
This provides for a candid discussion.
However, journalists will want to identify their sources. This is how they demonstrate that their reporting is evidenced. Therefore, we do not recommend sending press invitations for events run under Chatham House Rules.
Journalists need sources to report, so it is irrelevant to invite them to an event, which you will then be telling them that they cannot report on. Once you have media in the room, it is very difficult to enforce Chatham House Rules and it would be very tempting for a journalist to attribute statements their sources.
Planning for event day
Who will be journalists’ primary point of contact on the day of the event?
Make sure to have one primary point of contact available to liaise with media in attendance. This should be there primary responsibility on the day.
The media liaison should anticipate:
greeting journalists on their arrival (this will allow them to be more easily identified later in the day)
managing any interview requests journalists may approach you with and liaising with speakers to facilitate interviews (if they give their consent to be interviewed)
addressing any follow-up questions or queries the journalist may have
introducing journalists to speakers for pre-arranged interview.
Do I need to stay with the journalist at all times?
There is no need to ‘babysit’ journalists. The role of the media liaison is simply to help them do their job and step in if they need/request your help.
A member of the LBS press office may also be in attendance.
Have personalised name badges been prepared for media?
Journalists should not be given generic ‘media’ badges. Instead, they should have badges that state their name and the outlet they work for.
A subtle indicator may also be included that enables them to be identified as members of the media by the conference team ie. small sticker in the corner of the badge.
Media badges should ideally be kept separate from other conference delegates (ie. with sponsor and speaker badges, so they can be easily identified and greeted on arrival).
Have all speakers signed a consent form acknowledging that media may be in attendance at the event and their comments may be reported?
Who will be available to be interviewed at the event?
Are any sessions closed to media? Have media been made aware of this from the start?
Are Chatham House rules being applied to any of the sessions
Have media been given sufficient notice of the event (2 weeks minimum)
Has a club member been appointed to liaise with journalists on the day
Have all journalists had a name badge created for them
The Internal Communications team can support you to maximise the reach of your events and activities within School community. We can offer support in two main areas:
Using the School’s central communications channels
Advice and guidance on promoting your event
The School’s central Internal Communications Channels are our main route to reaching all staff, all faculty, all students or the whole community. We recommend them as a good first option as they are:
Free to use
Well established (so no need to set up new systems or mailing lists)
Run by or regularly used by the team – we can help to ensure that messages are timed for optimal impact
The central communications channels include:
Life at LBS
The School’s monthly community email newsletter. It has a School-wide reach with three editions aimed at our three main internal audiences – staff, faculty and students - and a supporting microsite that acts an archive for stories. It is best suited to short newsy items, event promotions, celebrating a successful event and typical word limit is 250 words.
Located around campus, these screens are regularly seen by the whole community and visitors. They are great for displaying bite-sized information and event promotions and content is submitted using a templated PowerPoint slide.
We regularly produce items for the SA’s weekly bulletin and programme office bulletins and so can advise on who to contact and how to format your content. Typically items are no more than one or two short paragraphs with a link to supporting information.
HTML emails (level 1 events only)
We can support with the production and sending of HTML emails using the Message Cloud bulk mailer. We usually recommend that you restrict these emails to smaller groups of warm and interested people avoid bulk messaging the entire community.
Advice and guidance
Please contact the Internal Communications team when beginning to plan the communications around your event. We will be able to supply you with full guidance on how to use the central communications channels.
We also provide more in-depth advice and guidance for high profile level 1 and level 2 events, including:
Communications action planning
Support for production of bespoke collateral
Support to promote your event within networks and groups across the School
Please contact us to discuss your requirements: firstname.lastname@example.org
Consider using social media to help promote your event. You can use last year's content to raise awareness and excitement about future events.
Flickr - Add picture to student view channel to refer to this.
Slideshare - Upload conference slides to London Business School Channel to share later.
Photography and video
Photography and video are useful to create a bank of content you can use to promote your event. Make sure you organise someone to take your videos and pictures early on.
If you have the budget for professionals get in touch with the school’s media team. They often work as freelancers and can take on extra projects to film or photograph your event.
If you don’t have the budget, consider finding someone in your club who is good and enjoys taking pictures. Alternatively, contact the LBS Photography club who are happy to support student initiatives.
Make sure you upload your pictures to the LBS Flickr for a chance to feature in official LBS comms.