If you have community, business, or civic events coming up, there are several ways to get the word out to publicize and promote them.
Connect with Friends
You can always count on your friends to attend your event. Right? They are the first group that you should let know about your event. You can do that by regularly posting updates about it on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. Also, sending them an email about the event and asking them to share it among their contacts can prove beneficial as well.
Advertise and Promote on Facebook
Facebook ads allow you to choose specific demographic and geographic locations where you want your ad to be seen. Advertising on Facebook is inexpensive and helps you to reach people that might not otherwise know about your event. Also, create a Facebook event page allowing you to post information for those interested in the event to share.
Showcase Your Event on Video
Does the event occur annually? Did you previously take a video of it? If there is not a video, but you have photos, you can use those to put together a 30-second to a minute video showing event highlights. Post it on YouTube and Vimeo. Link to it from Facebook, Instagram and your other social media sites. Ask people to share it. Post it on your website and link to it from your email newsletter.
Create an Event Hashtag
Create a hashtag for your event and use it on everything you post and in your email signature. This will make it easy for people to find information about the event, as well as allow you to see what others are saying about it online.
Engage a Celebrity
Are there any celebrities, either local or national, being featured at the event? Write about them on your blog and in event materials, or ask them to author a blog to post on your site. Also, ask them to share details about the event on their social media sites. Having a well-known person featured at your event can help to gain the attention of the media.
Write a Press Release
Write a press release about the event that includes what the event is, where it is taking place, when it is taking place (date and time), any event sponsors that need to be acknowledged, and the reason (the why) for the event. Reasons might include to bring the community together, to promote or raise money for a specific cause, or to promote your business, or organization, as well as area businesses. The press release can be sent to local media. The release can either be emailed, or many media outlets have online forms through which you can submit information. Let the media know if you have photos available. You can also submit your press release through a press release distribution service. These can be free or cost several hundred dollars or more. We use services such as PRNewswire, ereleases, and PRlog, which is a free service. We recently posted a press release on PRLog for a Montessori school in Oakland that we work with—The Renaissance International School. The school is having its annual student art show this month. You can check out the release we wrote here.
Create an Email Marketing Campaign
A month before your event send an email to your list highlighting the event’s activities, entertainment, any speakers, sponsors, and other details. Make the email brief and keep it visually appealing. Continue to send emails once a week leading up to the event with new information, early-bird registration pricing, and reminders or time and place.
Promote the Event While It’s Happening
During the event, tweet interesting content and images about what’s going on. Images can include attendees, speakers, and entertainers. Use the event hashtag.
Need help promoting your event? The Wipfli Web Marketing Group team can write your press release, create social media event pages and provide content, send out email newsletters, and more. Contact us for information.
Post by Miriam Schaffer, senior consultant.