Make your ‘boring news’ an event

Emily Tully posted this on Wednesday and has kindly agreed to allow me re-post here. We are all faced with the conundrum she presents below, and she gives a great real life example of how to get around the problems:

Got Something Boring Coming Up? Make your news an event

by Emily Tully

Here’s the conundrum:

  • You’re launching something good…and on further inspection interesting, but not unique or ‘groundbreaking’
  • Lots of other people in the same field are launching similar things at exactly the same time
  • There is very little you can do in the way of offering the media ’something different’ or newsy with this one
  • You know you need to get people ‘in’ to see what its all about but you really can’t see them going out of their way to attend another boring launch

The answer?

Hold an event around your launch that WILL interest people, get noticed, create news, benefit others and create a tremendous amount of goodwill once people interact with you and your peeps = National College of Ireland’s Dot Conf, July 22nd 2010.

I first heard of it weeks ago…


And with an invite like that how could anyone say no?  Actually I forgot to sign up immediately if I’m honest, but there were lots of little gentle reminders from Emma, who completely understands how to use Twitter effectively.


Not to mention this gem

I knew what Dot Conf was about, and I knew I wanted to go to it.  I didn’t know that actually I was being invited to check out the NCI, get a feel for the place and consider whether I’d be interested in their brand spanking new MSc in Web Technologies.  I didn’t know that until I arrived on Thursday and got my lovely welcome pack full of info, some crucial (like the times of the deep dives) and some additional (like the NCI prospectus).

The conference itself was great – some excellent presentations. My favourites wereKeith Maycock and Des Traynor who, to be honest, were the less ’sales pitchy’ ones.  That said I also enjoyed Martha Rotter’Pivot presentation which was really something considering I’m a Mac user!

There was a free lunch, which I didn’t get because I was meeting with some potential customers.

Then there were the aptly named  ’deep dives’ – I went to eCourgettes and Wired Potatoes (very deep) and the Usable Content one.  (I have to say I was distracted throughout the latter ‘dive’ by the shiny, pretty, ipad beside me.)

Then it was back for more sales pitches (well you have to offer some incentives to sponsors – don’t you?), more interesting presentations and then….free refreshments and a chance to win an XBOX – also known as the ‘MSc launch party’.

Confession time – I couldn’t stay for it.  But, I did, for a split second, think about abandoning my son and heir for the array of really naughty sweets on offer.

I’m not sure how many people stayed for the launch bit, but I’ll betcha’ it was more then NCI would have gotten in had they just released a “Another boring event is happening this Thursday” invite to media and token ’so hot right now’ bloggers.

  by the dot conf.

The new NCI MSc course also got a lot more media coverage then other similar post graduate courses launched the same day (or that week).

Dot Conf also brought in new friends for National College of Ireland.  I’d never been there before and as I was walking around, especially through the stair well with pictures of past students, I got a really nice feel for the place.  I reckon if I did want to go back to studying, I would like to give them my money.

Without wishing to sound patronising, well done Emma and Co. A clever idea, a PR stroke of genius and a great day.

(Check out #dotconf to read up on people’s impressions of the day)


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