Promoting Your Event
You’re well under way with your event planning, now you just need to let people know about your event.
The following possibilities are commonsense, but you may not have thought of all of them.
‘In your ear’ promotion via your answering machine
At work, at home or on your mobile re-record your ‘I’m not here to take your call’ voice message. Start the message with a few bars of the Australian National Anthem, a reminder that Australia Day is coming or even a suggestion to Celebrate What’s Great and then add your ‘I’m not here to take your call’ message.
In the local media
- Write a story for the local media or set up picture opportunities for radio interviews and television crews. Remember the story has to be newsworthy (first, newest, biggest, better, faster...LOCAL)
- If you want television coverage or a photo in the paper, there has to be something visually exciting happening for the media to capture - one of the novelty events, friendly competition and ‘freebies’ suggested above would be ideal
- Send stories or story ideas to other local publications. For example, local councils, schools, sporting groups, the local tourism group, recreation groups and special interest groups often produce their own newsletters or hold meetings. Identify your key event messages such as ‘for the family’, ‘free’, or ‘food and wine fair’ and use these phrases in all of your promotional material
- It’s free to list your event on a number of online event calendars, including at the www.australiaday.org.auwebsite, which lists local events in each state and is searchable by postcode. The ABC also has an online event listing, the 'Big Diary'. See http://www.abc.net.au/thebigdiary/
- You could also advertise your event on community notice boards and in local newspapers and the newsletters (hard-copy or email) of relevant interest groups
- Some event listings in print are also free. Major newspapers will often list music or arts related events in their entertainment section. Education sections may also list events for schools or universities. The same goes for relevant special interest magazines
- Find out the media’s deadlines for receiving information, then give them plenty of warning and remind them again as your event draws closer. This is especially important with Australia Day as many regional papers operate on skeleton staff over the January period
- If you can’t get the media to attend your event, see if you can interest them in a follow-up story. Make sure you have print-quality photographs to offer them.
Spokespeople and local identities
- Identify a spokesperson and include their contact details (for office and home) on media releases. Choose someone who knows a lot about your plans, is easy to contact at all hours and most importantly is articulate
- You may also want to recruit a local personality or business leader to help attract media attention.
Preparation and rehearsal as promotional opportunities
- Any rehearsals of events can also be a promotional activity, especially for local newspapers.
Flyers and posters
- Make up simple flyers and posters to distribute to local shops, schools, libraries and clubs.
Logos and branding
- Using the Australia Day logo in accordance with the style guide helps to ensure its value and integrity, and clearly promotes your event as part of a state-wide and national celebration.
- Set up a Facebook page, or use your local council page to promote discussion about your event
- Provide a ‘like’ button on your web site so people can promote your event for you to their Friends
- Don’t forget to like ‘Celebrate Australia Day’ on Facebook to share news of your event.
- Make sure you upload your event details to australiaday.org.au
- Add a photo to your listing for more impact.
Collaborations and working together
- Consider joint promotions with other Australia Day committees in the region. This can be very successful with television and radio networks that broadcast to a larger area
- Investigate joint promotions with other events on or around Australia Day. This can reduce costs, expand the size of the team working on promotion, and possibly also lead to longer-term benefits of association.
Local resources and local networks
- Use existing networks within your community to promote your events and programs. For example: involve the local sporting associations, library and other community groups. All will have their own mailing lists or other means of communication that may be useful.