Without Promotion Something Terrible Happens…..Nothing! – P.T. Barnum
Campus Promotion is all about generating a word of mouth buzz for your event. This doesn’t happen automatically. It will take work and a plan. Be consistent and persistent. Have fun and get creative. Below we have laid out a bunch of ideas to help you get on track.
You will need to create a position for the point person for campus promotion. Did you read our blog post about building a planning committee for your event? Read it here! They will get permission on getting the marketing posters approved and they will manage other students to put up the posters at designated locations. They will add your event to the school calendar as well as find out how to add your event to the electronic marquees on campus. You will have to create flyers, posters, and signs. Depending on your budget you could also create a banner and possibly yard signs. What about postcards? Not necessary but could add another layer to your marketing.
Ask the speaker for their ready made marketing materials.
You have to connect with other student groups. This is a great way to get in front of a lot of people. You can ask to give a little 30 second “commercial” at their next meeting or gathering. Think Greek Life (fraternities and sororities), Student Senate, etc. Collaborate with these organizations and see how you can help each other. There could be opportunities for cross promotion.
Get an article in the student newspaper.
Campus wide email. See how many times you can send emails. Ideally you will want to send 3. One about 3 weeks before the event, another the week before as a reminder, and the last one either the day before or the day of the event. See if you can set-up a table in the cafeteria or Student Union to pass out information about your event.
Get faculty buy-in, speak to professors about the benefits of your event, Ask department heads if you can have students give 30 second “commercials” in class (the same strategy from student organizations), professors may also want to give some type of assignment with your event, extra credit, or even make your event mandatory! Invite faculty and encourage them to bring family members.
Speak to all the RA’s and ask them to spread the word. They have access to a lot of students. Use them as a resource. They could possibly organize some type of Dorm outing.
Another avenue is the athletic director. Student athletes have to attend various events and yours could be something that will fit their criteria.
Is there a campus Radio Station? What about a popular podcast on campus? See if your speaker can be interviewed.
Use your email signature as another way to promote the event.
Bookstore posters – ask if they can give away a flyer with every purchase. Does your campus allow sidewalk chalk? If yes, then figure out the high traffic areas to write your marketing messages.
Advertise on University transportation – Buses! Interior? Exterior?
Invite university bigwigs, they may even want to introduce your event. They could also help promote the event!
Some out of the box ideas: Have a sandwich board walker with the event details on it (Make sure you capture this for your social media pages!). You can make a game out of it, the 100th flyer given away gets something free, (possible local business tie-in with Community Promotion), button campaign with the event theme on it, cafeteria placements, how about creating a red carpet event? Okay, we know that is extreme, but maybe your campus can pull it off.
Paid advertising is another route that you can go. We wouldn’t suggest this as a main strategy. From our experience paid advertising is not necessary – unless you are getting a late start or have a large budget.
Have an off-campus strategy. (Yep! We wrote a post in which we go into major detail about that too!)
Again, campus promotion is all about generating word of mouth buzz around your event. The more people talking about your event the better. Have fun and come up with other ways that are unique to your campus. You are only limited by your creativity. So get creative!!
Rollin’ to a town near you!
P.S. Want to learn more about how Mike and Tim can share their story with YOUR group? Let’s Talk!