PLANNING AN EVENT
Prior to thinking about how to promote an event, you should create a plan for everything from space reservation to catering and facilities services to security. You can view information on how to plan your event here.
HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR USM EVENT: Marketing and Publicity/PR
- Designate a point person from your team to coordinate the Marketing and/or PR for the event.
- Determine who your audience is, and how best to reach them (web calendars of events, email invitations, posters/postcards, social media, and so on).
- Create a "to do" calendar starting with the event's deadline (date RSVPs are due, etc.) and working backwards to include all deadlines for information gathering, print and press deadlines and so on. Print materials and/or press releases and media calendar postings must be created as early as possible (**Marketing Office's deadlines for creating printed materials are minimum of 6-8 weeks prior, Press deadlines are at least 3-4 weeks prior).
- For printed materials (posters/banners/ads etc), decide where and how you will mail or display them. On campus? In the community? Both? Who will distribute them?
View the following information to learn about the tools available to help you promote your event utilizing existing resources at USM.
Printed materials (posters, postcards, flyers, banners, tablecloths, etc):
- For printed materials - please contact the Office of Marketing to help you determine the best method of designing and printing such materials. Please note: Marketing requires that you start the process 10-12 weeks from the date of your event for pre-planning, design, production and distribution of materials. You can find out more by viewing the USM Brand Standards. Departments are responsible for distribution and display of any printed materials for their events. You may view information about USM's display policy here.
Promoting Events (web calendars, email, social media, the press, etc.):
- USM Event Calendar (website) posting: Designated web editors for USM departments can post event information to their departments' pages as Calendar event listings, highlighted info blocks, etc. If you want your event to appear on the USM Calendar of Events, also select “cross post to USM Calendar” before publishing and the event will be posted there as well.
- All events listings should include: a full/interesting description, all pertinent dates/times/locations, and a photo or image, along with any links to more/associated information. **Please note -- external community events with no connection to USM will not be posted on the USM calendars. Student-focused events may be posted via the Student Affairs web form (for students who do not have access to the CMS). Assigned web editors may find information and training on how to use the USM website CMS (content management system) here.
- Email marketing: All departments/programs at USM are encouraged to send their event notices to the USM community via the L-List on the Listserv (you may also wish to encourage your internal audiences to subscribe to this list). The best way to reach a specific audience is a direct email to that group. If you wish to send a designed/branded email to your own specific audience (internal or external), contact Marketing’s web team to see what options are available.
- Weekly Events Highlights Email: During the school year, the Office of Public Affairs publishes a weekly email with just a selection of the many events from the USM Calendar (which is why it's important to publish events with full descriptions there). That email is delivered to all faculty/staff and students (via the "A" and "S" email listservs).
- External media calendars: To post events on some of the primary local media events calendars such as MaineToday.com, MPBN, WCSH6 and so on, an event's point person may enter them using the same information as you would on the USM website. To see the list of external media calendars, click here. For advice, please contact the Office of Public Affairs.
- Public Relations and Press Releases: For press coverage beyond the media's events calendars mentioned above, or for inviting press to an event, please use the Submit your USM event link or contact the Office of Public Affairs, who will determine and coordinate any press coverage.
- Social Media: If you currently manage a department or program Facebook page or Twitter feed, you may wish to share your events on those feeds. The USM social media team may choose to share your event as well, depending on the event and the strategic timing of the event.
- Photography: We highly encourage faculty, staff, and students to take event photographs. You can even use iPhones, which take good event photos. Or you may wish to hire an external photographer if your department has the budget. Contact Marketing or Public Affairs for a list of freelance photographers.