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Planning and Leading an Event

A successful event takes planning, organization, timing, and follow-up. Use this guide for tips on how to produce an effective event.


Events are most effective when they advance your chapter’s overall strategy; they provide great opportunities to recruit members, raise awareness, educate, promote advocacy, and raise funds or materials for the specific issues your chapter has chosen as a focus. Events can also be effective ways of attracting media attention, influencing policymakers, and promoting dialogue on your issue. Agree on your objectives before planning an event.

Time-bound (fit to deadlines)

Examples of Success Objectives:

Letters to the Editor

Writing a letter to the editor is a simple but effective way to make your voice heard in the public dialogue about current events and to influence public opinion. Beyond this, policy makers and legislators review their local papers’ letters to the editor to gauge their constituents’ priorities. Letters to the editor should be concise and well-written; state your main assertion in the first few lines of the letter, and be sure to proofread your letter. The letter is more likely to be published if it is written in response to a recent news item, which you should refer to in your letter.  Submission guidelines differ, so be sure to follow the guidelines set by the specific publication you wish to publish your letter. To find out how to submit a LTE for your local paper visit their website. The excitement of seeing your name in print and the ability to influence decision makers’ opinions make writing a letter to the editor well worth your while.

Successful events require resources.

What resources may be in reach? Here are a few possibilities (see Develop Resources [3] for more information):

Within your PHR chapter In your community From PHR
  • Computer, writing, or art skills
  • Media contacts
  • Connections with businesses
  • Commitment to the issue
  • Personal knowledge and/or experiences with the issue
  • Local relevant institutions
  • Local businesses
  • Supportive faculty
  • Nearby NGOs and other organizations
  • PHR Toolkit
  • PHR videos & reports
  • PHR staff
  • Nearby PHR chapters

Build Coalitions/Work With Others

Build power in numbers. Other groups may be happy to work with your chapter on an event and just require a specific ask about how they can help.

Assign Tasks

Build an Audience & Publicize Your Event

Consider the Four C’s when recruiting prospective attendees: Connect with people in a friendly way; provide the Context of the event and importance of issue; ask for a Commitment; and Common ground (relate the issue or event to the invitee.)

Consider: fliers, listservs, tabling, announcements in class, Facebook & Myspace, banners in public spaces, letters to the editor of school paper, announcements in publications, Evite.com, presentations at club meetings, advertising on T-shirts, public service announcements on your local radio station, and asking faculty to announce your event during class.


Reserving Sites and Preparing Materials

Evaluate & Celebrate