Guest Posts

6 Digital PR Tactics for Event Promotion

Chris Norton
By Chris Norton, host of the UK’s 7th largest marketing podcast, Socially Unacceptable, and Founder of award-winning B2C specialist PR agency Prohibition. His social media training blog is listed in the UK's top 10 PR blogs. For tons of digital PR tips, you can follow Chris here @chris_norton.

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Need help promoting your event? Uncover the power of digital PR for event promotion and get ahead with our expert tips.

Since its commercialization, the internet has offered event organizers unprecedented reach during promotional activities. No longer confined by geographical borders or waking hours, event marketing has leveled up. to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

This unprecedented freedom isn’t without its drawbacks. In particular, the internet’s vastness can make digital PR activities feel somewhat intimidating. Never fear. If you’re planning an event, and don’t want your efforts to get lost in the void, I’ve got you covered. This article reveals six digital PR strategies you can implement to promote your event successfully.

What is digital PR and how can it be utilized for event promotion?

Digital PR involves using online channels to create and maintain a positive public perception of a brand or event. For event promotion, digital PR can leverage social media, influencer partnerships, press releases, and content marketing to reach a wider audience, generate buzz, and increase event attendance.

Table of contents

  1. Tapping into the digital landscape in 2024
  2. Digital PR vs digital marketing
  3. What's the difference between digital and traditional PR?
  4. 6 Digital PR ideas for events—Boost your event visibility and number of attendees
    1. Enhance your site’s event page for maximum impact
    2. Generate audience engagement with social media
    3. How to craft press releases
    4. Send regular emails to build anticipation for your event
    5. Ensure the content linked to your event is shareable
    6. Leverage influencers and industry experts

Tapping into the digital landscape in 2024

Digital PR has transformed how event organizers connect with their audience, eliminating traditional limitations and opening a realm where the number of event attendees is only bound by how effectively you utilize these tools. According to Statista, there are 5.3 billion internet users worldwide.

The same report states that 62.3% of the world’s population uses social media (as of Janurary 2024). What these statistics mean for PR professionals is this. Given the healthy chunk of people now online. Additionally, it also means that digital PR efforts can help you reach your target audience.

Digital PR vs digital marketing

Digital marketing and digital PR are complementary strategies in the online promotion landscape, each playing a pivotal role in shaping a brand's presence and engagement with its audience.  While there is clear overlap between the two, it's important to be aware of the key differences:

Objective overlap – Both aim to increase brand awareness and engagement, albeit with different primary focuses. Digital marketing concentrates on promoting products, services, or events to drive conversions, while digital PR focuses on managing and enhancing the brand's reputation online.

Tactical integration – The tactics employed by digital marketing and digital PR often intersect, using shared channels like social media, blogs, and emails but for different purposes. Digital marketing campaigns might leverage these platforms for direct sales or registrations, whereas digital PR strategies could focus on securing media coverage or influencer collaborations to bolster the brand's public image.

Complementary effects – Digital PR can significantly boost digital marketing efforts by establishing a positive brand image, making marketing campaigns more credible and appealing to the target audience. Positive media mentions or influencer endorsements can lend additional legitimacy to marketing initiatives.

Shared channels, different metrics – Both strategies utilize digital channels but measure their success differently. Digital marketing relies on metrics such as clicks, conversions, and ROI, while digital PR may prioritize engagement rates, sentiment analysis, and the reach and quality of media coverage.

Synergy in strategy – Aligning digital marketing and digital PR efforts can magnify a brand's message and presence online. A unified approach ensures that the credibility and engagement built through digital PR amplify the reach and effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns.

Together, digital marketing and digital PR create a holistic strategy for digital promotion, with each element supporting and enhancing the other. Digital PR lays the groundwork for a positive brand perception, which digital marketing then leverages to achieve direct consumer engagement and conversions.

What's the difference between digital and traditional PR?

The best way to understand digital PR is to contrast it with what came before it, i.e., traditional PR. While both PR methods involve content creation to shape the general public’s impression of a brand, the similarities end there.

Traditional PR involves the use of physical advertising channels to position a brand or organization. Examples include print-based industry publications, television, billboards, and radio.

While the above-mentioned media are excellent for sharing information, they fall short in two key areas: audience targeting and results analysis. Traditional PR speaks to the public at large, so you can’t really target very specific segments. It’s also hard to measure engagement and conversions with traditional PR.

In contrast, digital PR strategies typically employ a range of event marketing tactics:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) (especially on your event website)
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Email marketing

They can help you distribute PR campaigns that are highly targeted. At the same time, the results of the campaigns are measurable.

For example, social engagement metrics like “likes” and social media shares tell you how well a piece of content has resonated with your intended audience. More general metrics like conversion rates and click-through rates speak directly to a campaign’s return on investment. With the rolled out Google Analytics platform, you can also easily see your website traffic resulting from your PR efforts.

Digital PR also provides many more advantages that traditional media don’t, including the ability to:

  • Influence your audience’s opinion at any time of the day
  • Position your brand or organization as an authority in its field at little cost
  • Defuse negative PR swiftly

All this is not to say traditional PR doesn’t have a place in the world. It merely highlights that the information age has changed how organizations manage their public relations campaigns. And this is especially true of event marketing.

6 Digital PR ideas for eventsBoost your event visibility and number of attendees

Now that you know how digital PR can help you, here are six digital PR techniques to boost your event’s visibility and attendance:

1. Enhance your site’s event page for maximum impact

As you prepare for your next event, the focus moves to building a great event website, brimming with engaging content and innovative marketing ideas tailored for diverse types of events. A website plays an essential role in digital PR. It’s typically the first organization or brand-related asset viewers see. The website isn’t just where you host your press releases and statements. It’s also a tool you can use to portray your institution in a good light.

So, as part of your digital PR strategies to ensure the success of your event, create a page for it. Prospective attendees will need a place they can visit to learn more about your event. Sending them to your website’s home page isn’t an effective strategy because it causes friction. Faced with the prospect of having to hunt around your website for details about the event, impatient visitors will likely bounce off.

Create an optimized landing page where you can send traffic and collect emails and registrants for your event (as below):

Landing page for BambooHR

Enhance the page for maximum impact as well. To enhance your event page, ensure the following:

  1. An eye-catching design
  2. Concise copy
  3. A call to action (e.g., “register”)
  4. A sign-up form
  5. A compelling offer or unique selling point (USP) that distinguishes your event

Don’t forget to optimize your page for SEO. Compress your images to ensure quick loading and incorporate relevant keywords for high SEO rankings.

When you make the above enhancement to your page, you give a good impression that makes it likely for people to take your desired action. They either give their emails to you, register for the event, or both.

2. Generate audience engagement with social media

Social media, another platform used for digital PR, can be a powerful tool in your event-promotion arsenal. You can use it to generate excitement around your event and boost its visibility. Ultimately, you can also boost your event attendance.

If you think about it, the various social media channels offer multiple ways to promote events online. Facebook lets you create specialized stand-alone pages. Instagram has its Stories and Reels for those who prefer to consume video. X’s tweets are perfect for by-the-minute updates. And so on.

You can leverage the unique features these social media platforms offer to create a wide variety of promotional content in the run-up to your event.

Some ideas worth pursuing include:

  • Creating a Dedicated Event Page on Facebook: the Facebook page like the one below can complement the event landing page on your website.
Facebook post of PULSE

It can serve as a digital space to share announcements and interface with potential attendees. Facebook has a comprehensive guide you can follow to create your Facebook event page.

  • Creating a Countdown Sticker on Instagram Stories: Countdowns are excellent for generating buzz and creating urgency (see the image below):
Instagram story of event

You can use Instagram's re-postable countdown sticker to get people talking about and anticipating your event.

  • Posting Teaser Videos on IG Reels: You can post Reels like behind-the-scenes videos, short industry expert interviews, and more to drum up anticipation. Reels also let you give sneak peeks of the event and share other promotional content. Consider leveraging professional video production services for the best results.
  • Creating an Event Hashtag: create an event-specific hashtag that makes it easy for your followers to find or share content for the event. Use it on all relevant content and ask your followers to do the same. See how Hubspot does it:
X post for an event

The ideas above apply whether you’re hosting an in-person, hybrid, or virtual event.

A dedicated YouTube channel also paves the way for innovative event promotion strategies. This platform offers a great way for event planners to showcase the latest product launches at trade shows. Engaging content, live updates, and behind-the-scenes looks can go a long way in maintaining an online presence, crucial for real-time audience interaction and marketing effort amplification.

3. How to craft press releases

This next digital PR tactic calls back to how PR has been conducted for decades: via press releases. Press releases when published on your site, on their own, can help you promote your event. If they get picked up by the media, even better. Top-tier publications will create news stories about your event, which would mean you also get more people to know about it.

For the best results then, when crafting your event press release, adhere to the following principles:

  • Create a Strong Headline: Your press release headline needs to pique the interest of your reader. Put time and effort into crafting it, as it could determine whether your readers continue reading. Check out this excellent example of a strong press release headline.

Thanks to the headline, people are likely to read the entire content. Who doesn’t want to know how Empty Bowls can feed the hungry in the first place?

  • Answer the 5Ws and 1H: What is your event about? Why should people attend? Where will it be held? Who’s speaking? When is it? How do you register?

Your audience and media channels will need these 5Ws and 1H answered in your press release to decide whether it’s worth attending. Just make sure you keep the jargon to a minimum, avoid buzzwords, and leave out any irrelevant information. Additionally, make sure to avoid overly-promotional language.

  • Add Quotes: You can liven up your press release by including quotes from relevant personalities like event partners and sponsors. These quotes will also give you the opportunity to showcase them. See how the event organizer in the press release above also promotes its partner, Mid-Ohio Foodbank, by quoting its communications and digital manager.
  • Incorporate Keywords: Since your press release will be posted on your site, you can’t neglect SEO. So, include relevant keywords when writing your PR content. Their inclusion will help you rank in search engine results pages.
  • End the Press Release with Contact Information: Include information about your company or organization at the end of your press release. Also, provide a link to your website and relevant contact details, like Azenta did in the press release below:

Make sure the press release is also downloadable in the form of a press kit that contains text, images, and other assets.

For the best results, don’t wait for relevant journalists and major publications to see your PR content. You can share it with them via email. Use an email finder to look for their contact details and share your press release.

4. Send regular emails to build anticipation for your event

Next up on our list of digital PR for event promotion is email marketing. Email newsletters are great for public relations. After all, they help portray your organization in a positive light as you build and nurture relationships with people. But how do you use emails for event promotion?

Remember when I said you should have an event page with an opt-in form? This is where you put to good use the email addresses you collect.

As your list grows and your event’s launch date draws near, send your subscribers regular emails to drum up anticipation for the event. If your event is an annual one, you could, for instance, leverage your previous participants’ positive reviews to get other subscribers to register for this year’s event. That’s what SaaStr, an organization of SaaS companies, does:


You could also showcase who will speak in your event in your email:

Marketing email for event

Another option is to offer a discount for those who register early for the event:

Marketing email for event

When sending any type of email, be sure to include all relevant contact details. Incorporate this information into your email signature for convenient access to your social networks or phone numbers. That way subscribers can easily reach out with queries about your upcoming event on their preferred platform.

5. Ensure the content linked to your event is shareable

We talked about some of the types of content you can create as part of your digital PR tactics for event promotion. Whatever you decide to create, whether this be press releases, emails, or social media posts, make sure they are shareable. This is a technique frequently used in PR. When you make your content shareable, after all, you increase your chances of reaching more people with your PR content.

How do you make your event content shareable? Make sure it’s quality content, of course. But you also have to make it easy for people to share it.

That won’t be a problem if you’re posting your event content on social media platforms. After all, channels like Facebook, Instagram and X (see below) already have built-in sharing features viewers only need to click to repost your content on their own social accounts.

Social media post of event

But what if you published your piece on your website or disseminated it via email, for example?

This is where social sharing icons come in. You can embed these into your newsletters, blog posts and press releases, among others, to make it easy for viewers to share your event-related content. For this, use tools such as ShareThis and AddThis.

Make sure the social sharing icons are placed strategically, though. See where Semrush incorporates its Facebook, X, and Twitter sharing icons in this press release on its upcoming marketing conference on its website:

Semrush webpage

The sharing icons are found right after the press release. It’s a logical placement since it presupposes people already read the content before they share it. You can’t miss the icons either since there’s plenty of white space around them.

6. Leverage influencers and industry experts

Here’s another digital PR tactic you can try: why not leverage influencers and industry experts? These influential individuals can help you in event promotion and, in the process, boost your reputation. The best part? When they speak, their followers are likely to believe them. After all, they have already built their own reputation among members of their audience.  

Before you can leverage social media influencers to promote your event, you’ll need to reach out to them with your personalized pitches, either via email or social media. A quick Google search of your niche will yield a list of influencers you can reach out to with your pitch. Just make sure the influencers you choose share the same values as yours. Don’t ask a vegan influencer to promote your meat-eating contest, for example.

Leveraging industry experts for event promotion is as easy as asking your keynote speakers to promote your event on their own marketing channels. Unlike influencers you’ll need to pay, these industry experts will do it for you for free. They’re also promoting themselves, after all. See how Arianna Huffington, a known columnist, promotes her speaking stint at the Unstoppable Together Virtual Summit. In the process, she promotes the event as well:

LinkedIn post

Make sure you give your chosen influencers and industry experts the link to your event page so they can promote it as well. This way, anyone who reads their promotional post can register for your event then and there.

That wraps it up!

Leveraging event promotion ideas for your future events is pretty straightforward—once you've had a little practice.

Just create an event page on your website (integrating event apps like Eventcube can make this process easy for you). Also, use the various social media channels’ unique features to generate buzz. Craft and publish press releases on your site as well. Don’t forget to leverage emails for event promotion. Ensure the event-related content you create is share-worthy. Finally, strike up partnerships with influencers and experts.

Using these six digital PR strategies is a great way for you to reach your event goals.


By Chris Norton, host of the UK’s 7th largest marketing podcast, Socially Unacceptable, and Founder of award-winning B2C specialist PR agency Prohibition. His social media training blog is listed in the UK's top 10 PR blogs. For tons of digital PR tips, you can follow Chris here @chris_norton.

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