Nothing is worse than holding a community event that no one shows up for. How do you prevent this PR nightmare? You have several options:
Use Promotional Products
Use promotional products, like custom playing cards, pens, ball caps, backpacks, and keychains. Choose items that you think people would use.
For example, if you’re raising awareness about clean water scarcity, you might want to give away free water bottle filters capable of filtering non-potable water. Sure, it costs more than a pen, but it also makes a greater impact.
If you’re promoting a community block party, you might want to gear your promotional material toward that. If it’s a pig roast, you could give away free tote bags with the event information on it, for example.
Send A Reminder Out Through Your Mailing List
Your mailing list is the most powerful marketing tool you have. Sending out reminders to people who already know and trust you will only spread the word about your event even wider – it’s like referral marketing.
Successful businesses have been doing this for years. It’s cheap. It’s effective. Best of all, you can mail out something on a Monday, and start getting a response within two or three days. If it’s an email list, the responses can come in even faster.
Promoting through a mailing list almost seem like common sense, but many businesses don’t or won’t do it. They forget about their past customers as being potential future customers.
Likewise, many non-profits and community organizations neglect the power of the list. If it’s an email list, it costs you nothing, and you’re mailing to people whom you know like and trust you.
Advertise On Social Media
Advertising on Social Media is much cheaper than hitting up the bigger players like Google Adwords, but it’s also very effective. If you’re promoting a community event, odds are community members hang out on one of the big social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
If you can advertise to them directly through these channels, do it.
Get Listed On Event Calendars
Event calendars are still a great way to promote your event. Your local chamber of commerce, or another organization, might have a monthly list of events that they would be happy to include you in.
Some cities maintain a list of such events. And, sometimes, independent newspapers devote multiple pages to community events.
If you can get listed in a community newspaper, you could get a wide reach for very little money. Most newspapers that publish community events will do so at discounted rates.
This is probably one of the most expensive options, but it’s effective. Sending out direct mail pieces and asking people to RSVP is a direct way to gauge community interest in your event. Direct mail costs several dollars per envelope if you’re doing a multipage mail piece. Or, it can cost as little as a dollar per piece if all you’re doing is a one-page letter and first class stamp.
Teresa Baker has held a number of key roles in public service organizations. She has a passion for helping others and likes to share her views and advice online. Her valued opinions can be found on numerous different websites.