In PR we focus on building relationships with all sorts of internal and external publics. It is important that we constantly seek new ways to interact with our publics and maintain those relationships.
I recently learned about what is essentially a new PR tool called houseparty.com. The site describes itself as a collection of “thousands of parties across the country, hosted by people like you.” Each event offered on the site is “sponsored by a leading brand and focuses on something the sponsor wants its best fans to experience firsthand and share with their friends.” The concept is simple: organizations put together and sponsor themed parties and consumers can apply for the chance to host the parties in their homes. The chosen consumers are supplied with materials, decorations, prizes, discounts, freebies and other supplies to host their parties.
I think this site is on to a great idea. What better way to raise awareness and generate buzz about your company or product than to offer your consumers a chance to try it for themselves- for free- in the presence of their friends? Further, these parties represent the basis for a two-way, mutually beneficial relationship between the company and the consumer; the consumer gets a social experience, “insider” information about the company’s products and some free stuff while the sponsoring company gets a chance to wow a whole group of people with their product and has the opportunity for that excitement to spread to attendees’ other contacts in a viral, grass-roots fashion.
Would this type of party work for your company or client? What other creative ideas do you have for fostering relationships with your publics?