Publicising Your Events
Developing a marketing plan and putting it into action takes time. Developing and printing a professional flyer, for example, can take up to a month, and distributing them another two weeks. The earlier you can start, the more chance you have of getting a good audience for your event.
Determine the core message you want to convey about your event and communicate this clearly and consistently in all publicity materials. Remember, the first impression gained via promotion of the event will ultimately determine whether or not people turn up.
The best publicity is tailored for its target audience. When identifying your target audience you should consider the following:
- Who do I want to reach and where will I find them?
- What kind of audience would appreciate the event (e.g. schools, adults, specific subject interests)?
- Is it open to the public or reserved for a specific group (i.e. students or staff)?
- Who would benefit from attending the event?
Once you have identified your target audience it will be easier to choose the types of publicity to use and where this should be placed. There are a range of options you may wish to consider:
- Mailings / e-mailings
Sending electronic invitations to mailing lists is an effective way of directly targeting your audience. This could include staff and students from academic schools with an interest in your subject and alumni. E-mail invites should be sent between 2 and four weeks prior to the event.
Pros: Direct and effective
Cons: Unsolicited mail can annoy people so don’t overdo it and keep it to the point
- Poster distribution
Posters and flyers should ideally be created 2-3 months prior to the event. These can then be distributed to schools, administrative divisions, community centres, the Students Union, libraries and other outlets as appropriate. There are poster templates on the Advice and Resources page. The Community Engagement Team can advise you on how to distribute these to external outlets.
Pros: Visual and appealing
Cons: Best used as a reminder in addition to other tactics
- Event listings
Contact the Public Relations Office if you would like to include your event in the events calendar on the University website. The University Notice Board is another useful way of publicising an event internally.
Pros: People that like University events look here to see what’s on
Cons: You won’t find ‘new’ people browsing our website
Invitations can be an effective way of reaching specific groups. Prepare a guest list of people you wish to invite – this may include outside organisations relevant to the subject area, alumni, schools, clubs, colleagues and senior members of staff. You should ask invitees to respond by a specific date so that you can plan for the appropriate audience. Once your guest list has been finalised, check this with your Head of School and if you wish to, contact the PR team for further advice.
Pros: Direct and controlled
Cons: ‘Invite only’ limits your audience
You might want to use photographs of your event in future print and web materials, so consider hiring a photographer. The Public Relations Office can advise you on the contact details of local photographers. It may also be possible to ‘create’ a photo opportunity in advance of your event that you can use to promote it – please contact the Public Relations Office for further advice.
|Promotion and Publicity|
|Send Invitations||2 months prior|
Contact PR Office
Possible activities (not all of these will be appropriate in every case) –
2 months prior
2 weeks prior
|Create posters and / or leaflets||2-3 months prior|
|Mail posters / leaflets to libraries and other public outlets||2 months prior|
|Mail posters / leaflets to schools||6 weeks prior|
|Email any relevant mailing lists||1 month prior|
|Book a photographer||1 month prior|
|Submit an entry to the University Notice Board||2 weeks prior|