Event promotion can be a lot of fun. Your goals are to inform the public of the event in order to increase attendance and to inform the media to heighten awareness of your organization’s position and work on this issue.
Remember, always assess those individuals from the general public you seek to invite. You always want to have control of your crowd; this cannot be accomplished if you don’t know who is in your audience.
The week before the event, call coalition partners to gauge attendance.
Inform the public
Determine whose phone number to use on all public information materials
- Inform organization members and neighboring branches of your event and recruit them to attend.
- Work with the coalition outreach chair to send invitations to coalition partners and other important guests.
- Invite the public using ads, fliers, public service announcements on the radio and cable television, and meeting announcements in the newspaper.
- Encourage the moderator and other speakers to promote the forum.
- On the day of the event, place a sign outside the location.
Inform the media
Compile a list of media contacts. Learn which editors and departments cover this issue in your city.
- Designate a media spokesperson to be available to the press. Put her/his name on all news releases and mailings that go out to media.
- Fax and/or email an advisory to your media list five to seven days before your event. An advisory is a concise notice listing the event’s purpose, content, location, and participants. Fax and/or email the advisory again a day or two before the event as a reminder.
- Call reporters the day after you send your advisory. Explain that you are following up on your written materials. If they haven’t seen the materials, offer to send them again.
- Send a news release the day of the event and make a final round of reminder calls.
- Prepare a table with a sign-in list and media kits for all members of the media. Fill your kits with the following items:
- Statements from the speakers
- Press release
- Background information on your organization and other co-sponsors
- Position paper and/or fact sheets on the issue.
- During the event, offer reporters a quick interview before or after the program.
- Follow-up: call reporters who did not attend the event and offer additional information, including the media kit so they can publish an article on your event. Also contact reporters who attended to ask if they need additional information or quotes to complete their stories.
- Look for press clips in the newspaper and on television.