Publicity is essential to the success of your event. Use this guide for tips on how to effectively publicize an event; print this checklist  to use as well.
Targeted Publicity Works Best
There are numerous vehicles for publicizing your event; decide which combination works best at your school. Also see Recruit for detailed information. Be strategic: consider who you want to attend and tailor your promotional efforts to reach that audience
Consider these options:
- Use the internet → facebook, myspace, school blogs, and announcements on school websites, Evite, and e-mailing your chapter listserv.
- Post flyers, fact sheets, posters, and banners in public places. Use the Know, Dare, Act posters, available from PHR.
- Reserve a table in a high-traffic area on campus. Talk to fellow classmates about your chapter and event. Display flyers, fact sheets, or brochures about your event.
- Ask faculty to help promote your event, by making announcements in classes. Occasionally, faculty will offer extra credit for students to attend events that are related to the course work… Ask your professors if this is an option
- Submit a summary or press release to your school newspaper or radio station, and ask them to publish or announce your event. Post your event on campus or community calendars. Contact your school’s public relations department.
- Continue to build coalitions by asking other student and community organizations to help you advertise by sending e-mails to their own listservs, tabling, presenting your event idea at club meetings, or asking them to cosponsor the event.
- Use visual appeal. Get permission to paint a mural or hang a banner; ask if you can use sidewalk chalk or picket signs at heavily trafficked areas on your campus.
- Explore all forms of media, including campus and community cable television stations and radio stations.
- Wear it! Raise funds and advertise by making shirts, bags, or stickers displaying your event information. Sell them a few weeks prior to the event; ask chapter members and volunteers to wear the promotional items.
The Creative Edge: Engage the Eye
Make your advertising materials appealing! Use bright colors, compelling images, and a large typeface to make your posters and banners attractive and eye-catching. IMPORTANT: See the section of your welcome packet regarding usage of the PHR logo!
- You don’t need a big budget to produce your materials. Ask for donations of markers, paper, printing, copying, or poster board from school departments or local businesses.
- If you don’t have the budget to print your materials in color, use colored paper.
- Set a production timeline with deadlines. Ideally, your materials should be printed and distributed 3 weeks prior to your event. Delegate tasks to your chapter members to help you produce your materials.
- Find out if your school requires space reservations to put up banners or other large forms of advertising, or for tabling, and how far in advance of your event you can display them.
Posting Your Materials
Post your advertising materials in strategic locations. You want to reach as wide an audience as possible. Place flyers, posters, fact sheets, and banners in high-traffic areas. For instance:
- Student Center
- Bulletin Boards
- Local Businesses
- Nearby schools
- Relevant institutions or organizations (Hospitals, non-profits, NGOs)
- Dorms or Apartments
- Student Mailboxes
For online advertising, start early, and send e-mails and invitations to as many people as possible and send another internet publicity blitz a couple days before the event. Include contact information so people can contact you for more information.
Use “Rounds” of Advertising
Complete the first round of advertising three weeks out, if possible. Do another round of advertising within the week leading up to the event. Re-post your materials on campus, and send out new invitations and e-mails. Ask other organizations, faculty, and community members to announce your event again.
Follow-up and Debrief
After your event is over, evaluate your publicity campaign. Were your advertising methods effective? What can you do better next time? Are there ways of advertising that you did not use? Is there a direct correlation between attendance and the methods you used to promote your event? Finally, be sure to thank your chapter members, faculty, community members, and anyone else who helped you with publicity.
Your chapter is hosting a major panel discussion on Global Health Disparities at your school in one month. You know from past experiences that it is extremely difficult to get your fellow classmates to attend events, as everyone always seems to be extremely busy. How can you effectively advertise on your campus? Aside from posting flyers about the event and using the internet (e-mail, facebook, myspace), what other methods can you employ to spread the word?