Advertising an Event
We know that one of the most effective ways to reach our campuses is by bringing the message to our peers, rather than waiting for our peers to come to us. Many of the activities listed under our Outreach section are designed to do that and can be run with many or few club members, often requiring very little organization to plan and run successfully. Other events such as debates and guest lectures can be very effective - IF they are advertised well.
Your NCLN Campus Coordinator will work with you to develop an advertising plan tailored specifically for your particular event and campus [contact us], but here are a few principles and ideas to consider:
Principles of Effective Advertising
- Advertising should be a vehicle for your message: Remember that it’s not about the event itself, it’s about getting the message to your peers. As such, use every bit of your advertising as an opportunity to get the message seen and heard on campus. (More examples on how to do that under ‘Practical Tips’ below.)
- Advertising is not a ‘week-of’ task, but should be ongoing for a few weeks. This gives you the opportunity to advertise through your Outreach Tables, reaching out to other groups that might be interested, word of mouth, and any other outreach or activism your club is doing.
- Advertising should be a team-effort. For an event like a debate or lecture, you’ll need team members to each take on responsibilities, including making announcements in their own classes, participating in handing out fliers, chalking, and participating in Outreach Tables. This is also a great opportunity to invite new people to get involved in activities like chalking, baking food for after the event (if applicable), and inviting their own friends.
Practical Tips for Advertising
Use these ideas for effective advertising to maximize your reach!
Before the semester starts:
- This is the time to start planning the event and finding debaters/or speakers.
Early in the semester:
- Hand out information about your event during Orientation Week and Club Days. Create mini posters with the information and invite any pro-life students you meet to get involved to help make the event a success.
In the months leading up to your event:
- Chat with our director of social media and promotions, Kathleen LeBlanc. She’d love to help you create different types of ads: Facebook event cover photos, social media squares, posters, leaflets, etc.
- Book a table or space on campus for the week of your event and the week before if possible to promote your event and engage the student body.
- Write up a press release to be submitted to the student newspaper. Contact us at NCLN for help in writing one!
- Create a Facebook event. Invite everyone you know on campus, whether they are pro-life or not. Also invite pro-lifers from the surrounding area. Have all your club members do the same. Challenge your club members to bring a certain number of students to the event.
- Contact other clubs on campus and invite them to your event. Your student union likely has a list of all accredited clubs on their website with contact information (ex. different religious clubs, future doctors clubs, debate clubs). Some clubs may allow you to make an announcement at one of their club events.
- Personal invitations are key! Take opportunities - or create opportunities - to let your classmates and friends know about the event and encourage them (repeatedly) to attend.
- Postering: depending on on your school’s policy for how long posters can be displayed for, you may wish to save this for the week of your event. Remember not to rely on posters for your advertising given that many of them are often torn down quite quickly.
- If your campus has an events page, ask that your event be put on the schedule.
- Submit your event information to your school or local newspaper.
- The school or local radio may also offer ad space and you can submit information about your event to them to air. Request that it be aired the week of your event.
- Have everyone in your club post memes about the event on their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
- Display a banner in a main area on campus with details about your event (if possible).
- Get your press release to the media outlets which are local to your campus the night before your event. If they cover your event, it means that even if people don’t hear about your event, they’ll still be reached by your event. Be prepared and have one person at your event assigned to take questions from the media. Talk to your NCLN Campus Coordinator on how to prepare for interviews.
The week of your event:
- Make an announcement in your classes. If your club members make announcements in each of their classes, you would reach hundreds if not thousands with the news about your event. And because your classmates might know you, they may be more interested in the event than had they simply seen a poster.
- Delegate team members to make announcements in classes that would be specifically interested in your event (ex. philosophy, women’s studies). Even addressing 5-10 philosophy classes could result in reaching hundreds if not thousands of students.
Use the table or space that you booked earlier this month to promote your event.
- Leaflet your event.
- Share pictures of your club members advertising on your Facebook event and on your club’s Facebook page. Tag your club members so that the pictures will show up in more newsfeeds. Then share your post from your club’s Facebook page to your personal Facebook and watch the number of views skyrocket!
- Continue to share the ads on social media. Consider changing your profile picture to the event poster and encourage your club members to do the same.
- Remind media outlets of your event.
The day of your event:
- Chalking, if possible.
- Most importantly, continue with leafleting.
- If your school has a “Seen at…” or “Overheard at…” Facebook group which allows advertisements, post your social media square here. Another option would be to post a picture of your chalking.
- Through the event, tweet or post quotes from any speakers or from any conversations you had.
After the event:
- Thank everyone for coming on your Facebook event.
- Write a blog post focused on the event. Include pictures!
- Respond to any coverage in the student newspaper to keep the conversation going.
Other Forms of Advertising
Advertising your club: