23 August 2018 Alyce Grams shares her experience working on TEDxMELBOURNE

In early 2018, TEDxMelbourne approached Icon Agency to become a pro-bono partner to help deliver PR around their annual event, highlighting the theme of ‘The Great Unknown – Who we’ve been. What we’ll become’.

During my university days, I watched many thought-provoking TED Talks, so this PR campaign was something I felt was right up my alley.  

The time from ideation to execution was only a matter of weeks, and with TEDxMelbourne not having secured all of its speakers, Icon launched into action.

With only a short amount of time until the event, we decided to launch the campaign through the process of drip feeding speakers to targeted media as they were confirmed.

Our goal was to help encourage Melburnians to first understand what the event is going to be about, and then to push ticket sales.  

As a boutique event, TedxMelbourne’s appeal to wider media was limited, which meant the strategy of using storytelling was our best chance of raising broad awareness of the event. This meant that as speakers were secured, key story angles had to be quickly identified and pitched to targeted media. There was no room for missteps amidst a real sense of urgency.

Claire Ashman, a two-time cult survivor and Josh Brnjac, a 16-year-old CEO, were chosen as our media spokespeople. Their incredible stories were used to help spread the word about the upcoming event and create a buzz around the TEDxMelbourne brand.

Claire’s story was a huge lure for the media, and helped us achieve 10 pieces of editorial and spots on national broadcast television and radio such as The Project, The Today Show, ABC News Breakfast, FOX fm and NOVA.

Josh was also able to secure us editorial spots across national publications such as The Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph, News.com.au and ABC News Breakfast, just to name a few.

Our change in strategy meant that this year’s TEDxMelbourne event generated the most editorial the brand has ever seen and helped to sell out the event, which was held at North Melbourne’s Meat Market. TEDxMelbourne helped me to push the boundaries through the implementation of a strategic public relations approach, which included profiling some of the keynote speakers. Using this approach, we were able to achieve an outstanding potential reach of over 55 million with 28 pieces of targeted earned editorial, 4 of which were national broadcast television.

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