Marketing: The Basics
For those looking to promote an event on campus, we’re here to help. Our public relations team manages social media outreach and media relations. Our marketing and publications team develops print pieces and coordinates paid advertising for the institution, in many cases covering the cost with our office’s budget.
Have a question about promoting your event? Contact Public Relations.
This primer on event promotion on The Source provides a helpful, detailed overview of the resources available on campus to market your event. Below, we offer our top four tips for successfully promoting an event.
1. Start early.
- Eight to ten weeks before an event: If you have a budget for printed materials, this is the time to reach out to us for a consultation to determine if your project falls in our scope of work.
- Six weeks before an event: Upload your event to the calendar in LiveWhale. Include when and where it is, and also a brief description (see tip 3 for guidance).
- One month before an event: Send targeted emails to people and groups in the Portland area. We can help with drafting these messages
These are just a few of the ways to promote an event. The Source describes more options, and when you work with our office, we can help you develop a plan that works with your budget and goals.
2. Target your outreach.
Big mailings, advertisements, and listings in newspaper calendars reach many people, but most of those people are unlikely to have strong interest in any one event. That’s why we recommend reaching out to local groups that have a demonstrated interest in a particular subject area. We can help you with this process.
3. Explain what’s exciting about your event clearly and concisely.
Reporters and the general public are bombarded by information every day. If you want your event to stick out in people’s minds, explain briefly (in two to four sentences) what your event is and why people should care about it. Include this description when you upload your event to the calendar in LiveWhale.
4. Don’t rely on media coverage.
The only guaranteed form of media coverage is paid advertising, which is handled by the publications and marketing team. Our office runs events ads three to four times each semester. To have your event considered for inclusion, put it on the events calendar far in advance.
Most content in newspapers and magazines—including event calendars—is editorial content, not advertising. For this content, the media outlet sets the deadlines and decides what will run. Our public relations team handles media submissions for calendars and also pitches larger stories to reporters.
Since most media coverage is out of our direct control, we encourage and can help with other ways to promote events. Contact our office so we can develop a plan based on your goals.