It is impossible to have a successful program without an audience. So ADVERTISE! Your advertising should get people's attention, draw them in and keep their interest. There are a lot of ways to do it, some free and some will cost money. There's no doubt that you will use a little of both. The best way to begin is to form a publicity committee or choose a publicity coordinator.
First, prepare a budget. How much money do you have to spend? Make sure you get estimates that are as accurate as possible for all your publicity needs. Don't forget hidden costs like printing costs of fliers or mailing press release.
Timing is everything. When you are working with radio, TV, newspapers or other publications, they will have deadlines that you need to follow. If you want a free public service announcement, you will usually need to contact the radio/TV stations early. Display ads in newspapers, including The Barometer, usually have a deadline of three or four days prior to the event. Make a calendar going backwards from your event date to determine when it would be best to start your media campaign.
Who is your audience? It's important to determine what populations will be most interested in your event and to target your advertising to those groups. If your target group is students, your advertising will be very different than if you are targeting the Corvallis community.
Types of Advertising
- Word of Mouth - The cheapest and best form of advertising. Get the word out about your event. Talk to people. Do class raps - contact professors of large classes or classes with subjects that might have an obvious audience (i.e. the Women's Center might go to a Women Studies class) and ask them if you can make an announcement in their class. If they say OK, schedule a time with them and MAKE SURE someone from your group shows up! It's important that everyone in your group knows the details of the event so they can talk about it to anyone they might meet.
- Display advertisements and posters/fliers - Fun graphics and attractive presentation will attract people to read your posters and ads. Make sure you don't forget to include the basics (who, what, when, where). If you have a logo for your organization or for the event, be consistent and use it on all your display ads. Posters should be hung all around campus and in the windows of local businesses. It's important to ask permission of either the business owner, or someone in a campus building, before you hang your poster or it may be removed.
- Table Tents - Like a mini poster, these billboards are a great way to get the word out. There are 20 tables on the MU Concourse, 65 spots on the Commons (because MU suggests placing on every other table in this area) and Buenos Burritos location has 32 tables. Contact the MU at 737-2650 to reserve the tables for your promotion. It is your responsibility to place the items, and refresh occasionally as the MU staff must trow away any pomotion pieces that end up on the floor. Consider printing 150 to cover all the above mentioned areas including refreshing. Arrangements can also be made to display table tents at the dining halls. Each Hall's Dining Manager must be contacted individually to make arrangements. Arnold: 737-2262, McNary 737-1004, and Marketplace West: 737-2100.
- Online calendars and outreach (excel document) - Posting your event on online calendars can help you reach your target audience where they look for information. Many options are availabe at no cost! If you know of an online outreach method that is not listed on this document, please let University Events know. New ones are appearing every day.