Catersource is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Working with Couples & Vendors in PR

Gaining recognition and attention for your work is one of the goals of a great PR strategy. However, the team-based nature of the events industry can make coordinating submissions more complicated than most of us would like it to be. It’s difficult to get not only your team members, but also your clients, on the same page in time to meet important deadlines and land the features that you need to promote your work. How can you balance your PR goals with the needs and personalities of your clients and vendor colleagues?

Make sure your goals are aligned

Do your clients share your desire to have their event published? Do you have permission from the photographer to submit his or her images? Not everyone wants to see their event in lights, so discuss your goals before the event and make sure all parties are on board.

You can address client consent in your contract for services. Include a clause that grants you permission to use images of their event to promote your product or services. Even if your photographer includes such a clause, by including it in your contract you are taking extra care to respect the wishes of your client and avoid unpleasant surprises after submission. Consult with your attorney to make sure that your consent verbiage is legal and appropriate.

Some clients do not want the spotlight on their events, and while it might be a great disappointment to you not to be able to share, you need to respect their feelings. Just keep in mind that preserving the customer experience is more important than the promotion you might gain from sharing their photos.

Avoid death by committee

When constructing your submissions, only the photographer should be involved with you in the image selection. Don’t invite all of the contributors to give personal input on which photos will be used or how the submission will be worded. Too many opinions can hopelessly slow down the process and you might miss important deadlines. Limit customers to giving input on the narrative, and vendor colleagues to answering any questions you might submit. Take charge of the rest.

Spread the word when features are published

After a feature is published, send a link out to the couple and your colleagues. Your hope is that they will share the link on their social media and with everyone they know. But sometimes couples and vendor colleagues will scrutinize a piece, instead, and come back to blame you for faults they find. Don’t get defensive. Instead, see it as an additional opportunity to impress. Try hard to find a solution. Offer to contact the editor, for example, to see if a correction can be made, and keep the team up-to-date about your efforts.

Coordinating your PR submissions with your colleagues and clients can, at times, feel like herding proverbial cats. Stay organized and positive, and the payoffs from successful submissions will definitely outweigh the frustrations.

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting, which specializes in getting wedding professionals their brides. She is a highly sought after industry speaker and serves as a Public Relations adjunct professor for Virginia Commonwealth University, specializing in PR writing and brand promotion.

See Meghan Ely at Catersource 2018!

Marketing and PR expert Meghan Ely will present, And the Winner Is…the Key to Award Winning Submissions. Click here to view her session description.

Meghan Ely

President, OFD Consulting, Richmond, VA

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. 

Photo: Melody Smith Portraits