March Luncheon Recap: Tips for event publicity

Publicizing an event is a likely assignment for most PR professionals. Janet Frank, media manager for Intermountain Healthcare, was recently tasked with planning and promoting an open house for two new towers on the Utah Valley Hospital campus and shared some of the strategies that worked best for her.


 Before she started planning, Frank focused the “why” of the event by asking a few questions:

 Why is Sorenson Legacy Tower special? Why would people want to come see it?

 She ultimately concluded that healthcare pertains to everyone and they will at some point visit the hospital for themselves or for a close family member or friend. Frank designed the event to draw on those personal connections to motivate the public to attend the open house.

 Frank also believes that every event needs to have a purpose and defined two objectives for the event:

 1)    The event was an opportunity to thank donors. This was the largest philanthropic endeavor in the history of Utah Valley hospitals. 

2)    Welcome the community and demonstrate the Intermountain Healthcare mission statement in action.   



 In brainstorming different ways to honor and thank the donors, Frank and her team decided on a VIP ribbon cutting ceremony and a printed directory that listed the donors by name. Additionally, Frank’s team knew it wouldn’t be fitting to have every donor speak at the open house. To ensure every donor felt heard and appreciated, the team created a video where every donor was highlighted and given the opportunity to share their motivation for donating.

 To spread the word, Frank sent pitched media, used billboards, mall kiosks, email blasts, online pop-up ads and wrote letters to current and recent patients.

 One of Frank’s most effective tactics was finding a community partner. Lindsey Matthews is a local fitness influencer on Instagram (@trainerlindsey) whose mission aligned with Frank’s team. Matthews volunteered to put on a free fitness class that coincided with the tower open house. The community could register for the class and tour the tower afterward.



 Frank’s team had previously determined key performance indicators in the following areas to measure their success:

 -Website traffic

-Facebook video views

-Media coverage

-Trainer Lindsey class attendance

-Open house attendance

 Each of the key performance indicators met the established goals, but there was some room for improvement in sharing the hashtag of the event.

By identifying the purpose of your event, making a plan, and evaluating after the event, you can also pull off a successful event for your client.


About Janet Frank


Frank grew up in Washington State and graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in journalism. In 1997, she joined the communications team at Utah Valley Hospital and is now the spokesperson for the media relations department. 

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