Recently whilst searching the internet, I came across an interesting website called ActNow – a website for freelance journalists and public relations practitioners to use as a forum for an open discussion on any issues; social, cultural, political and many other issues that come across in the media.
An interesting aspect of the website was an article written (shown below), by Thea a young Public Relations practitioner who is involved with many organisations and their events.
‘When promoting your event think: who will be coming to your event and why? What is the best way for you to let these people know about your event?’
Some of the key areas identified in the article include: Marketing, Invitations, Creative Thinking and Media.
Marketing is about targeting your promotions so that you don’t spend time and money promoting your event in the wrong way or to the wrong people.
Hundreds of events are held every day in Australia. Your event is competing for the support of people who are already receiving invitations for lots of other events.
Identify what is unique about your event and make that the focus of your promotions. Some questions to consider include:
- Is your event raising money for a particular cause?
- Will someone famous be at your event?
- Is your event the first of its kind?
- Is your event offering something free for participants, like live music or a guest speaker?
Doing a bit of research can help provide some focus for your marketing campaign. Find out how similar events have been marketed, note what worked well and see if it can be applied to your event.
Personal invitations, whether by letter or email, are a great way to attract the attention of people you want at your event.
Use the mailing list or contacts database of your own organisation, if you have one, to invite members and their friends to your event.
Also send invitations to other clubs, groups and societies with similar interests to your organisation that might have members who would like to come to your event.
There’s so much advertising these days you have to work harder to grab people’s attention. Get a little bit creative with your promotions and they might be more successful.
Attend other events similar to your own and hand out flyers to participants who might be interested in attending your event. At rallies, action group members often hand out flyers advertising the next protest or upcoming gatherings for related issues because they know they have a receptive audience.
Another way to promote your event is to create a scene with street theatre. For example organise a flash mob in a public place, get lots of people to turn up to a certain spot at the same time and get each of them to hold up a sign advertising your event or have them all wearing t-shirts with your event details on them.
Or you could make stickers with your event details on them and stick them in public places where they’ll be seen, like traffic light poles and the back of toilet doors.
If it’s a uni event, try visiting different rooms on campus and ‘lecture bashing’ before a seminar. Ask if the lecturer if you can put up a slide or short PowerPoint presentation and speak for a few minutes about your event.
Sure, you might think your small event has no chance of getting covered by commercial TV or radio let, alone by a major newspaper in your city. And that’s probably true. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use other media to get your message out there.
It’s free to list your event on a number of online event calendars, which you can find through an internet search. You could also advertise your event on community noticeboards and in local newspapers and the newsletters of relevant interest groups, whether hard-copy or email.
Some event listings in print are also free. Major newspapers will often list music or arts related events in their entertainment section. Education sections may also list events for schools or universities. The same goes for relevant special interest magazines.
If you can’t get the media to attend your event, try to get them to run a follow-up story on it after it’s finished. Make sure you have print-quality photographs to offer them.
The article was found on http://www.actnow.com.au/Tool/Promoting_an_event.aspx which is a great website for describing how event promotion involves more than just design elements and strict budgets.