So you're having an event and want everyone to know about it. You know to reach out to the local newspapers and radio/TV stations with releases—that's PR 101. But what else can you do to get the word out?
What are your local resources? Do a little brainstorming. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Colleges or universities
- Large employers
- Groups or associations
- Governmental arms
- More unofficial sources of local news (for example, alternative news weeklies, bloggers, Twitterers, popular local Facebook pages)
Then, who among them might be convinced to care about, attend, and/or promote your event?
- Would the art department at your local college be interested in your art show?
- Would a large employer be interested in including your local festival in their newsletter?
- Would local community service groups (Lions, Kiwanis, honors society students) be interested in sharing your appeal for volunteers with their very interested base?
- Would your city be interested in putting your block party in the newsletter and on the webpage?
- Would the local tech gurus everyone follows on Twitter be interested in promoting your web developer conference?
One other thing to consider: What competes with your event? Do you want to avoid sharing information with the event producers, or can they be convinced to cross-promote? A shared audience is a wonderful thing and can benefit everyone.
For example, the many festivals our region hosts have come together to form a festival alliance. Everyone promotes everyone else's festival in a largely noncompetitive way. Yes, there are two jazz festivals, but they're not on the same day, after all—it's not like people can't do both.
If your events do the exact same thing on the exact same day, all day long, sure, you're unlikely to be great partners. (This also means that the scheduler for event #2 made a really stupid choice.) But remember that—people can usually do both. You can build on that.