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Tips on Promoting and Publicizing Programs and Events
Promotion: It's what you do Before, During
and After your programs, in order to maximize your chances of success
Promotion: Tricks and Tools
Promotion: Give us your Tips!
Promotion: It's what you do
program, in order to
- Attract people to your activity or even
- Raise awareness of what you have planned
- Inspire reactions that help you know your program is on target
- Assure adequate participation to meet your goals
during your program, in order to
- Expand your audience's awareness of your organization
- Call attention to other programs you offer
- Turn your audience into your ambassadors
- Learn how to improve your program's attractiveness
and after your programs in order
- Exploit your success
- Extend your program's impact
- Cement your connection to your audience
- Encourage future participation
Promotion's Goals: Your main goals are to make people aware of all the
good programs you provide, to involve the key constituencies in your programs,
and celebrate what your programs have achieved. Each time you plan a new
event or activity, use this drill.
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1. Think who your main audiences are. Talk with people in those groups
and be sure your program makes sense to them. Ask them the best way to
reach others like them. Focus groups are great. They keep you focused.
(Check the Family Advocacy pages on the Internet for a complete guidebook
on Focus Groups: Go to this address on the World Wide Web: <http://child.cornell.edu/army/focus.html>)
2. Check with your marketing friends. If you have MWR Marketing available
to you, work with them. Even if you do all your own marketing, you should
have "marketing buddies" who can help you think through this particular
effort -- and every effort you undertake.
3. Test your objective: if it is clear, you will know it, and so will
your marketing buddies and your audiences.
4. Plan ahead. Make sure all your publicity efforts have feasible production
schedules and are carefully planned to meet the deadlines of all those who
will publicize for you.
5. Let your installation media know what you have planned. Do a feature
story on the problem your program addresses. It may attract more participants.
Remember: tell your story in terms your audience will appreciate. (Talk
about "support for families" not about "our child abuse problem.")
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1. Be sure your audience knows that this is only part of what you have
to offer. The better they know your programs, the better your next promotions
will be. Provide brochures on other topics at any session your run.
2. Be sure to get feedback from the groups, especially on what would make
this program more attractive to their friends and neighbors when you offer
3. Encourage your participants to spread the word. Give them brochures
to hand out to friends and neighbors.
4. Provide a sign-up sheet for volunteers from your groups who might be
willing to help you on publicity the next time you offer the program.
5. Invite the installation media to view part of your program: they may
do a feature report that will get the word out in ways you never could.
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1. Let your installation Public Affairs Office (and your installation commander!)
know about your success. If they didn't come to the session, write them
a report. This is good for future programs and it supports the people who
participated this time.
2. Send Thank You letters to all participants. Word of mouth is your most
powerful tool, and courtesy and appreciation will earn your programs respect
and friends for the future.
3. Intentionally design at least one future program specifically so that
your attendees will come back for more.
4. Make changes in the program you just ran to better meet the needs of
the audience, based on feedback you gathered. And make changes in your
publicity plan that way too.
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Tricks of the Trade
· Flyers are among your most powerful tools -- at least in print.
· Make sure the words and the pictures truly tell the story: this
is the invitation to your party: would you come if you were invited?
Good Example: No Cooking Tonight! Friday Evening, October 15. A good
time from 5 to 8. Couples Appreciation Dinner -- with videos, music, pizza-fest
and the babysitting is on us! Call 555-1212 for reservations and further
Note: If it doesn't tell them what they'll get, why would they come?
Not So Good...Domestic Violence Prevention Month Dinner. Come to the
Club, October 13, from 17:00 to 20:00. A good introduction to our services,
with formal presentations and educational videos. Child care provided.
Note: Never offer the negative when no immediate relief is in sight.
And the secret of adult education is not to be found in lectures, presentations
or introductions. Adults like action, activity, hands on learning, and
a sense that they are involved, and are making their own decisions.
The trick is to think of where flyers go and how they get there.
The basic rule is: where they will be seen and read. Go where your prime
audience is. So, start thinking:
1. People must not be too busy to read your flyer. Commissaries are generally
no place to hand out flyers, except to encourage recycling. But in the
case of Domestic Violence Prevention, the PX is a good place to reach women.
2. Pay attention to people's routines. Finding mothers when they drop
off or pick up their children at day care is a good example: Their mind
is on family issues.
3. Look for the mixed audience. But don't intrude on someone else's party.
Good examples: Doors leading out of public spaces that are not related
to your program. Auditoriums, locker rooms, libraries, public bathrooms,
1. Yes, put them up on bulletin boards & on the backs of all those
2. Hand them out when people are moving at ease, without a feeling that
they have to get somewhere or do something. Good Example: After a sporting
event or a movie; at the parks or play-grounds.
3. Multiply yourself. Multiply the number of chances people have to get
your message. Find volunteers who understand this simple idea: everyone
knows someone who might want this flyer. This creates interest. "Look
at all these people handing out this flyer!"
4. Tie your flyer to some other benefit. Can the local pizza house see
a reason to give a discount to everyone who attends your event?
These ideas are not exhaustive. They are intended to give you a starting
point for taking advantage of the imaginative opportunities that exist on
your installation. Above all, don't go it alone: pick marketing partners
who can stimulate ideas and tap resources way beyond what you could do by
yourself. And depend on your command and your audiences to give you the
perspective you need for effective, on-target publicity!
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GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK! Send
any examples of your successful promotion and publicity activities in Domestic
Violence or Child Abuse Prevention and we'll evaluate them for inclusion in future materials!
SEND COMMENTS AND IDEAS TO:
STRONG FAMILIES, STRONG SOLDIERS
Beebe Hall, Cornell
Ithaca, NY 14853
607-275-9360 (Tom Hanna, Prevention Marketing)
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