Planning a Pop Up Media Campaign

Before you start on your pop up's media plan, be really clear about what you hope to achieve. Overall, your campaign must further the aim of your pop up. But in more detail, it may well be that your media plan helps you achieve individual objectives, too.

For example, you can use part of your media campaign to recruit volunteers to help staff your pop up or find local producers whose goods you can stock.

While they help you tick off a job that needs doing, those stories also contribute to achieving the bigger aim.

The messages you send to journalists are called press releases, no matter what type of medium you’re sending them to. A press release, which is sometimes referred to as a media release, reads like an article in a newspaper.

If you create a plan for delivering press releases, you can ensure that:

  • Your press releases are always sent on time.

  • They reach the right journalists.

  • You can measure the success of each individual release.

  • The momentum around your pop up builds before you open and continues when you close.

To create your media plan:

  1. Write the aim of your pop up at the top of the page.

    All your communication needs to be about helping you achieve this aim.

  2. Draw a timeline down one side of the paper, starting with today’s date and ending after your pop up closes.

  3. Mark the opening date and closing date on your timeline.

  4. Sketch in the key milestones leading up to the opening.

  5. Make sure that your press releases are ready at the right times, by matching them to those milestones.

    Some journalists, particularly those working on monthly or quarterly magazines, need your press releases at least two to three months in advance.

Sample Media Plan
Timeline Milestones Message
1st March Create plan Start contacting media. Target monthly magazines. Send first press release about organisation.
13th April Confirm location Send first press release about pop up out to all journalists.
16th April Start marketing Target selected local journalists for interviews, more detailed editorial pieces.
19th May Open Invite journalists to opening party.
19th May onwards Interviews and photos Interviews at pop up with journalists; photo call on location. Shoot photos for future press releases.
15th June Return keys Conclusions and achievements press release.

After you have a timetable, you can see:

  • How many press releases you need to write.

  • The dates these releases need to be written and sent to journalists.

  • How they help you achieve the objectives in your overall plan.

You’ll have lots of everyday interaction with journalists as well, particularly using social media channels. If you make contact with a new journalist, send him your last press release to help bring him up to speed with your pop up.

New media from social media are separated because new media is much more akin to old journalism. New media is about creating and publishing good content, whether it’s the written word, film or audio. Social media is more about sharing and distributing that content. Of course, some overlap exists, and the boundaries of the old media, new media and social media are becoming more blurred all the time.

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