Over the last six months, I’ve come to realize one thing about planning a traditional Nigerian wedding. It’s not all that different from planning a public relations (PR) campaign. Between researching potential vendors and venue locations, strategically prioritizing items on the wedding to-do list and confirming wedding guests, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in the middle of my own PR campaign. We recently held my Nigerian wedding and below are a few things that I found to be very similar.
- You have to create a strategic plan to keep things moving forward
When you’re planning a wedding, you’ve got to set a budget and conduct research for potential venues, photographers, videographers, event planners, etc.
In PR, you do the same thing with the budget that’s been allocated for your particular campaign to locate the best platforms/outlets to promote your client’s initiative. In addition, you also conduct research to locate the best media outlets to pitch your client’s unique story or initiative.
- You’ve got to stay organized
Keeping track of what you and your fiancée have completed on your wedding to-do list and determining what’s top priority can help you stay organized, reduce the amount of stress you experience and let you think through any challenges that might come up.
In PR, it’s very similar. By holding weekly status meetings with the client to discuss project progress and making sure the work your account team and sub-contractors develop falls in line with your client’s vision and goal, you’re ensuring that there is a constant movement to the project.
- You have to know your audience
The first thing I told my fiancée when we first started wedding planning is that we can’t invite everybody. The venue we chose could only sit a maximum of 200 people, so we were tasked with determining who were the key family and friends we were going to invite. After starting with a list of around 350 people, we whittled down our list to around 190, left a little wiggle room for 10 more guests and sent out invitations to the group we selected.
In PR, you do the same thing when you are compiling your media list. You have to understand the media market and have an understanding of key publications you want to pitch. For instance, if it’s a PR effort for Black History Month, you’ll want to research and target African American media outlets and bloggers within that market because your pitch will resonate more with that group.
- Have as much fun as possible during the pre-planning and execution stages
Whether it’s a wedding or a PR campaign, the key is to enjoy the process as much as possible. While both are stressful at times, you’ll be happy about the end result if you’ve taken the time to properly plan and execute your event or PR plan.
With all these tips in mind you might want to ask me one question, how did my Nigerian wedding go? Well, it was a success. The smile on my face says it all – don’t you think?
Stephen Fashoro | Group Director of Public Relations