Event promotion and media tips
Congratulations on receiving a small grant to run an event during Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week in your local community.
We realise that for some of you, it is the first time running such an event and have created this tip sheet to provide you with some help to promote your event and get local media engagement.
Promoting your event
Email your networks – this can be one of the easiest ways to get the message out about your event. As part of the email, if you include a request for the receiver to help distribute the event to their networks it can help spread the word throughout the local community quickly. Research shows that people are more likely to open an email from someone they know rather than from a person or organisation they haven’t interacted with before.
Research and contact organisations your target audience will interact with and get them to promote your event – if your event is being held for a specific sub-group in your community (i.e. LGBTI, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities) then approaching an organisation that works with these communities daily and asking them to help spread awareness of your event through their networks can also help. As a local, you are most likely already aware of what organisations service your local community, but a quick google search can also help find organisations you may not have realised existed.
Posters, community noticeboards and shop windows – sometimes the most traditional promotional methods can be the easiest. Having a poster/flyer which lists all of your events details (time, date, location, reason for event) is all you need to drum up interest. Once you have printed out some copies of the poster/flyer, you can take them around to local businesses and areas like libraries and supermarkets which often have a community notice board which you can utilise. No problems if you aren’t a graphic designer, there are plenty of free downloadable poster/flyer templates you can use just by doing a simple google search. The customised template will help give your poster a professional look and feel. Often local cafes are happy to have flyers left on their counter, particularly once they understand it’s an event to support the community’s mental health and wellness.
Approach locals with a profile in your community to promote the event to their networks and channels – every local community has prominent members within it. Often the local, state and federal politician will have newsletters and social media accounts which they sometimes use to help promote local events and initiatives. Call your local politicians office and let them know about your event and ask about any ways they can promote the event to their local networks or on their social media sites. Equally other well-known figures in your community should also be approached so that they know about your event and can help promote it to their local networks.
Use social media to promote your events – if you already have a social media account (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) then use it to promote the event to your networks. You may also like to create a Facebook event and start promoting it to your networks, encouraging other people to share the event through their networks. If you do make social media posts about your event.
Download the Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week free resources – on the website, pnda.wayahead.org.au/resources/. If you haven’t already, you can also list your event on the Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week events calendar. pnda.wayahead.org.au/events/community/add
How to engage your local media
Your local media is one of the best ways to promote your event to the community. Usually your local radio, TV and newspaper is always looking for local news to cover. In previous years we have found that when grant recipients mentioned to their local media that it is to promote mental health and wellness in the community and have a local who can talk about their experience living with a mental illness, it resulted in more interest from their local media outlets. Here are a few ways you can engage with your local media:
Have a newsworthy story – just because your event interests you, does not mean that it will always be of interest to your local media. Having someone who is able to talk about their personal experience living with a mental illness, or having an organiser of the event explain why this event is needed to better serve the local community and what the outcomes you hope to achieve will be are good areas to focus on when trying to get local coverage.
Press release – creating a one page press release which answers the, who, what, where, when and why as part of the opening paragraphs is a useful tool to send on to media contacts. Also including emotive quotes from spokespeople about why mental health and wellness matters to your local community are good to include. Don’t worry if you have never written a media release before, there are lots of guides available online. One we can recommend is from Public Relations Sydney and can be found here – https://publicrelationssydney.com.au/how-to-write-a-basic-media-release/.
Reach out to local journalists – Once you have a newsworthy story and press release ready to go, start making contact with your local media outlets. ABC local radio is a great avenue as they have numerous radio programs dedicated to taking people’s calls and have a vested interested in the local community. You can find your local ABC’s contact details on this page here – http://www.abc.net.au/local/. The majority of local news outlets have their contact details easily accessible on their website.
Once you have the contact details for whatever media outlet you are trying to contact, give them a call and let the person you speak to know that you have a potential story and would like to speak to someone further about it or ask for an email address where you can send the press release through to.
Be contactable – In the hours after you send your media release and make contact with journalists, make sure you are available on the contact number you have provided as they may wish to interview or ask further questions. The news cycle is quite faced paced and generally if a media outlet wants to interview you, they will either want to speak to someone in the next few hours or immediately. When you get an interview request, ask the journalist what type of things they would like to know during the interview to ensure you give them the best answers possible.
Give a good interview – during your interview make sure you answer the questions as calmly and clearly as you can. Of course it is very natural to be nervous, particularly if you are not used to speaking to the media, try not to worry about your nerves too much and focus on fully listening to the questions being asked and providing the most informative answer without being too longwinded.
If the interview is a live radio interview, generally the interview will take the form of a relaxed chat about your event and mental health month. If the interview is for a TV report, remember, most TV reports are between 30-60 seconds long and contain quotes from two or three different sources, this means you are like to have one or two quotes as part of the package. A 10-15 TV interview can often result in a 10-15 second sound bite as part of the media report.