A few weeks ago, I had an intriguing conversation with someone about how public relations work. He was unfamiliar with the industry and was curious to see why it is becoming a growing business tactic. We got into the idea of people gathering together for an event that provided food, drinks, guest, and other entertainment. It was then that I brought up the opening day event for the Red Sox all around Boston.
This was where things got interesting. I discussed an example of Liberty Mutual having a spread of hot dogs, popcorn, Cracker Jacks, and other ball park food to celebrate the opening day of Fenway Park. It was then that he grew confused as to why the food and drinks were necessary for the event. After seeing his confusion, I clarified to him that the food and drinks were just an asset for the event itself. He was still puzzled during our discussion, but he was still interested in this topic.
During our deep discussion, I thought about the importance of holding publicity events. Every now and then a major public event happens within the area; whether it is directly related to the company/organization or not, these businesses will hold an event to celebrate. This is where the PR work comes in – businesses need all of the communications help they need to pull off their special event. Whether it is a gala or a major CEO stepping down, companies work their hardest to showcase a memorable night.
But what exactly happens at these events? What makes them so significant that companies have to blow them up so big? Who reaps the most benefit at the end?
Think about the last time you attended a party with your friends. Some of the typical things you see is a spread of food, alcohol being served, a DJ spinning some mad tracks, some people sharing a joint (if the party is 4/20-friendly!), groups of friends playing lawn games, and other entertainment happening. All of these aspects help make it a great party, but the most important reason for why people attend parties? To get together with other people and meet new friends!
That right there is the big connection with all of these social gatherings – people gathering together to celebrate the special occasion. Human beings are the most social creatures on earth. As much as say we can’t stand people sometimes, we actually LOVE being around people all of the time (Aristotle referred to us as ‘social animals’). We get together with people for parties, funerals, sporting events, weddings, and even small things like sharing a joint together (sharing is caring!). People have gathered together for events since the dawn of time.
Moving back to the idea of publicity events, blowing it up big is vital for getting people CONNECTED with one another. Connection is the key word when it comes to company/organization events. When a CEO is stepping down to retire from the company, all acquaintances connect with each other about the him or her. The high-priced liquor and caviar spread is wonderful, but the main thing is about connecting people together.
Let’s go back to the ‘Opening Day’ event in Boston back in April. Liberty Mutual had that ballpark food spread for a reason. It wasn’t so much to raise awareness of their brand, but rather to connect people together about the Red Sox playing at Fenway Park (FYI, Red Sox won against the Pirates that day. GO SOX!). Opening day is a MAJOR event here in Boston, so Liberty Mutual really hit it out of the ballpark with their event! Other companies threw their own parties, thus connecting with their own social groups about opening day.
And there you have it folks — publicity events are CRITICAL for increasing connecting among each other. Whether it is casual networking among people or businesses throwing parties for retirees, connection is the key idea at the end. Businesses throw parties to gain closer connections to their audiences or employees. Not only do brands reap the benefit of increased awareness, but customers also gain the benefit of closer connection with their employees as well as the overall audience.
All of these ideas are tied with the idea of human beings being ‘social animals’. We don’t just socialize with other human beings for the fun of it, but rather for the sense of belonging in this crazy world we live in. As silly as some of those office parties can be, it’s a great way for connecting people together for whatever reason necessary.
To those that are baffled on the importance of public relations, THAT is one of the essential reasons why PR is critical for any company/organization. Public relations is what will blow up your reputation sky high!