Your goal with community promotion is to get your event in the public eye in someway. One of the first places you should look is the chamber of commerce or any civic club. Set up a meeting with the president of these organizations. Let them know about your event and ask if they can help in anyway. Maybe you could speak before one of their meetings or they could pass out information for your event. If you are looking for a potential sponsor this is where you will find it. You want to introduce yourself to local business owners and other community influencers. This will help widen your reach and get people talking about your event. Did you read our blog post about building a planning committee for your event? Read it here!
Business, Business, Business………
Business owners can help you in a few ways. You can ask them for a sponsorship, you can ask them to help promote the event with posters hanging up in their establishment or even passing flyers out to their customers and you can give them VIP status for your event. They can be featured prominently in the program (if you choose to create one) or special seating or recognition at the event. Sponsorship does not have to mean money. A business can sponsor the event in other ways. If they are a printing company, they could give you a price break on printed material, a sponsor can hang up posters or flyers. This is indeed a way of sponsoring the event.
Is there an Alumni Group off campus? If there is, this is another great resource to tap into to get help promoting your event.
Getting the word out in the Community
Press Releases – You will want to give the basics of information – Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
Local Newspapers – Talk to a local reporter about your event and see if they will write a story about your event.
TV promotion can be another wise direction. They could possibly do a PSA regarding your event (if it fits their criteria), an interview with your speaker, or day of event coverage. Maybe they could do a couple of different segments leading up to your event. If there is a lot of buzz surrounding your event, they will be more apt to give you airtime. Reach out to them sooner rather than later in the planning process.
Look at other schools in your area too!
Promote to other schools in your area. Start with local colleges and community colleges, but you can also reach out to high schools to invite their teachers and student leaders. This is a great strategy to build relationships with those schools. You can even invite teachers from middle schools and lower. Again, this always depends on the primary message of your event.
Speak to the local food delivery operators. Ask them if they could include your flyer with every delivery order. This is a great strategy to always keep your event in the eyes of students on campus. This would also be a pretty cool story for the student newspaper to pick up along with advertising your sponsor too. Example: “Have you ordered from Petey’s Pizza Pie? If you do, you will see some information about our event!” This continues to promote your event as well as giving your sponsor even more bang for their participation!
Ask about community message boards – Panera Bread usually has a message board where you can post your event. If there are community message boards that allow campus messages to be posted, you should definitely try to have a presence on them.
We are trying to create that word of mouth buzz. When students start seeing messaging for your event everywhere they go, they will start to take notice. Community promotion can be a way to build strong relationships within the community that can be mutually beneficial for years to come.
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!