Develop goals for publicity with the other members of the event planning team. Consider working with University Marketing to design your look and delegate some of these responsibilities.
Who is your target audience? Your top priority is to get the message about your event to this group. Think about where they look for information and make sure your activity is represented there when possible.
Develop the advertising budget:
- Printing costs
- Other materials
- Design costs
Decide which media(s) you will use for publicity:
- OSU Calendar of Events
- Fliers, and how you will distribute them
- Table tents
- Outdoor signs such as sandwich boards
- Advertisements on the Pedicab or in the campus shuttles
- Coffee cup wraps at local coffee shops
- Social media such as Facebook or Twitter
- Inform messages (when appropriate)
- OSU Foundation newsletter and outreach (when appropriate)
- OSU Alumni Association (Beaver E-Clips, when appropriate)
- Newspaper: ads
- Newspaper: free advertising and/or coverage
- Radio/television public service announcements
- online community calendars
- 'Last day/last week' attention-getters
Create an information page including:
- About the Event (description)
- About the Performer(s)/Presenter(s)
- Cost of Event/Ticket Prices
- Sponsors of the Event
- Information to save your spot (RSVP information), if tickets are sold: At the door? Where else? When?
Using the OSU Logo
Putting your plan into action
Form Publicity Committee to decide on:
- Graphic image
- Target audience
Recommended 10 weeks before event:
- Display cases
- Bulletin boards
- Place your event on the OSU Calendar
Recommended 5 weeks before event:
- Develop drafts and details of:
- Print designs
- Display ads
- Send notices to news "calendars"
Recommended 4 weeks before event:
- Order and pay for Newspaper ads
- Begin running classified ads
- Submit your event announcement to OSU Today.
- Order posters (OSU Printing and Mailing)
- Send press releases to newspapers
- Produce all materials
Recommended 3 weeks before event:
- Pick up ordered fliers, posters etc. and begin distribution
- Combine publicity with ticket sales
Recommended 2 weeks before event:
- Put up displays
- Run display ad
- Run public service announcements
- Run ad on Channel 26
Recommended 1 week before event:
- Begin special promotions
- Hand out fliers around campus
- Call newspapers to see if they will cover event
Recommended the day before event
- Do special promotion activity to run through event day
Day of Event!
- Make sure that people know WHERE your event is held
- Signs or balloons or arrows or anything that points to your event location will be helpful.
Good publicity can make the difference between a mediocre event and a SUCCESSFUL event!
Distribute Press Information Page to stakeholders and media groups as needed:
- Bring a picture from last year's event or from something that your group has done-the more colorful, the better.
- If appropriate, supply information to be posted on the info screens at the LaSells Stewart Center and MU
- You can fax the press release to KBVR-TV Channel 26 (7-7957), Barometer (7-4999), and OSU News and Communication (7-2130).
- Write a public service announcement for KBVR-FM and deliver - send to other radio stations in the community. For guidance in writing your public service announcement you can view the PSA form (Word Document) and PSA submission guidelines and samples (Word Document).
Making arrangements for printing of publicity:
It is impossible to have a successful program without an audience. So ADVERTISE! Your advertising should get people's attention, draw them in and keep their interest. There are a lot of ways to do it, some free and some will cost money. There's no doubt that you will use a little of both. The best way to begin is to form a publicity committee or choose a publicity coordinator.
First, prepare a budget. How much money do you have to spend? Make sure you get estimates that are as accurate as possible for all your publicity needs. Don't forget hidden costs like printing costs of fliers or mailing press release.
Timing is everything. When you are working with radio, TV, newspapers or other publications, they will have deadlines that you need to follow. If you want a free public service announcement, you will usually need to contact the radio/TV stations early. Display ads in newspapers, including The Barometer, usually have a deadline of three or four days prior to the event. Make a calendar going backwards from your event date to determine when it would be best to start your media campaign.
Who is your audience? It's important to determine what populations will be most interested in your event and to target your advertising to those groups. If your target group is students, your advertising will be very different than if you are targeting the Corvallis community.
Types of Advertising
- Word of Mouth - The cheapest and best form of advertising. Get the word out about your event. Talk to people. Do class raps - contact professors of large classes or classes with subjects that might have an obvious audience (i.e. the Women's Center might go to a Women Studies class) and ask them if you can make an announcement in their class. If they say OK, schedule a time with them and MAKE SURE someone from your group shows up! It's important that everyone in your group knows the details of the event so they can talk about it to anyone they might meet.
- Display advertisements and posters/fliers - Fun graphics and attractive presentation will attract people to read your posters and ads. Make sure you don't forget to include the basics (who, what, when, where). If you have a logo for your organization or for the event, be consistent and use it on all your display ads. Posters should be hung all around campus and in the windows of local businesses. It's important to ask permission of either the business owner, or someone in a campus building, before you hang your poster or it may be removed.
- Table Tents - Like a mini poster, these billboards are a great way to get the word out. There are 20 tables on the MU Concourse, 65 spots on the Commons (because MU suggests placing on every other table in this area) and Buenos Burritos location has 32 tables. Contact the MU at 737-2650 to reserve the tables for your promotion. It is your responsibility to place the items, and refresh occasionally as the MU staff must trow away any pomotion pieces that end up on the floor. Consider printing 150 to cover all the above mentioned areas including refreshing. Arrangements can also be made to display table tents at the dining halls. Each Hall's Dining Manager must be contacted individually to make arrangements. Arnold: 737-2262, McNary 737-1004, and Marketplace West: 737-2100.
- Online calendars and outreach (excel document) - Posting your event on online calendars can help you reach your target audience where they look for information. Many options are availabe at no cost! If you know of an online outreach method that is not listed on this document, please let University Events know. New ones are appearing every day.
OSU News and Research Communication Services
News and Communication Services is OSU's connection to the local, regional and national news media. We work with journalist from newspapers, radio, television, and magazines to obtain the best coverage for Oregon State.
- Daily dissemination of news releases about OSU programs, research, events, and student activities
- Helping journalists identify and contact OSU faculty who could serve as expert sources for their news coverage
- The production of the OSU Faculty Resource Guide, other specialty publications, the weekly faculty and staff newsletter, OSU This Week, and the daily e-letter OSU Today
- Distribution of press releases and contact information via the Web and other electronic means
Please contact us, we're here to help:
- Mark Floyd, NCS Assistant Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 541-737-0788
- Angela Yeager, news writer, email@example.com, phone 541-737-0784
- Theresa Hogue, Internal Communications Coordinator/Editor, LIFE@OSU, OSU Today, firstname.lastname@example.org, 541-737-0786
- David Stauth, science writer, email@example.com, phone 541-737-0787
Visit the News and Research Communications web site.
Getting the word out
In Corvallis and across the state
Getting the word out about your events has come along way from print media being your only option. Check out our list for online calendars and outreach (excel document). Select the location and audience that you would like to target before starting your outreach.
Consider paid media to promote your event. Check out the rate cheat sheet (word document) to get some ballpark ideas for how much it costs to run an advertisement in print.
Student Organization and Residence Hall Mailbox Distribution
Interested in distributing information about a recognized student organization's or university-sponsored event to other student organizations with mailboxes on campus? It is easy.. just follow this list by preparing enough copies of the information for each location, and then distribute accordingly.
NOTE: No fundraising solicitation can be sent through campus mail, no commercial mailings - this should be only for recognized student organization events or university sponsored events.
Greek System (MU 016)
- 42 mailboxes- drop off 42 copies to the Greek Life Office.
Memorial Union Program Council (MUPC)
- Hundreds, but only about 50 are active... Drop off 50 copies at the main desk.
Display options at Dining Centers
Reserve Dinning Center locations for the following media at UHDS in Poling with Debbie Kuehn (7-3477) at beginning of year or term:
- Table tents
- Display cases
UHDS Residence Halls and Cooperative Houses
Prepare each set of copies according to Hall name. You can drop off each Hall's packet at the University Housing and Dining Services Office, 102 Buxon Hall, to be distributed into each Hall Director's mailbox. (The hall director will distribute one copy per floor in the residence hall.)
- Halsell Hall 5 floors + 1 director = 6 copies
- McNary Hall 6 floors + 1 director = 7 copies
- Poling Hall 5 floors + 1 director = 6 copies
- Weatherford Hall 5 floors + 1 director = 6 copies
- Sackett Hall 24 floors + 1 director = 25 copies
- Bloss Hall 7 floors + 1 director = 8 copies
- Buxton Hall 5 floors + 1 director = 6 copies
- Callahan Hall 6 floors + 1 director = 7 copies
- Cauthorn Hall 5 floors + 1 director = 6 copies
- Finley Hall 7 floors + 1 director = 8 copies
- Hawley Hall 5 floors + 1 director = 6 copies
- West Hall 5 floors + 1 director = 6 copies
- Wilson Hall 6 floors + 1 director = 7 copies
- Avery Lodge 1 copy
- Azalea House 1 copy
- Dixon Lodge 1 copy
- Oxford House 1 copy
- Steve Swanson (News and Communications, Admin Services #416L)
- 1 mailbox (send via campus mail or drop off)
Sports Clubs (in Dixon Rec. Center)
- 33 mailboxes... Distribute to each box.
Associated Students Center (ASC)
- 55 mailboxes (this includes the cultural centers, Women's center, and Pride center) you will need to distribute the copies to each box yourself.
A more detailed poster distribution list.
Publicity Opportunities at the Memorial Union
Information about Memorial Union advertising options
Concourse Easels (for posters)
- There are six locations that include the MU Rotunda stairs and the 1st floor concourse
- Maximum reservation time is 10 days, reservations are accepted at the start of the term and are on a "first come" basis.
- Maximum size is height 50", width 24", thickness 1/4", must be lightweight paperboard of foam board
- Space reservation is forfeited if poster is not installed within 24 hours of the start date
- Only promotion of a single event will be allowed, one easel per event
- All unclaimed posters will be recycled or destroyed within 72 hours of the event date
Axis TV slides (plasma screens)
- Slides run for one week and can start on any day.
- The image is on the screen for 5 seconds and will rotate through every minute. (shown over 480 times a day!)
- Slide should be designed to 8.5" x 11" in horizontal (landscape) orientation and should be submitted in jpeg format. Send document to Kent Sumner, MU Marketing Coordinator. He can also answer your specific questions 7-8511.
- Cost is $45 a week for deparments, $30 a week for RSO, $21 a week for SFF. This fee is waived if you are advertising an event in the building.
Additional publicity options at the Memorial Union
- main event bulletin board (Board E) near the Commons
- organization bulletin boards (#1-6) in Mezzanine hallway
- table tents in an MU eating area
Easel space cannot be reserved in advance. Easels are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for a two-week maximum before your event.
- Only specific promotion of a single event is allowed-you would not be able to advertise an on-going meeting or event.
- Easels are provided by the MU Business Office (MU 112) after your event is approved.
- Maximum number is 6.
- Posters must remain in their designated spots.
- All other hallway posters must be related to specific MU events in progress and are limited to the entrance of the reserved room for that event. The scheduling of these display easels should be done in conjunction with the scheduling of the room.
Event Bulletin Board "E"
A small poster (max 14 X 22 inches) may be displayed on Bulletin Board "E" (a locked display case) prior to an event. The MU will date your poster when you submit it and as soon as possible (considering the number of posters on hand and event dates) will post it for you. Your poster will be removed after your event takes place.
How to Hang a Banner on The MU
Why: To advertise your event in a BIG way!
Where: Outside the south entry to the MU commons. This is the only place where you may hang a banner on the Memorial Union.
Reservations: Can be made at the MU Business office up to one year in advance. Banner may be hung on building for up to 5 days. The MU staff will hang the banner for you, but they are not responsible for theft or damage. Please pick up banner from MU Business after event within 24 hours.
Is it free to hang the banner? Yes, but you must supply the banner. These can be purchased at a sign company.
- Banners must be made of canvas or vinyl with metal grommets.
- Banner size must not exceed 11 feet wide and 5 feet high.
Where to get banners made: You can have banners made by sign companies.
How much do banners cost: They vary in price, but a large banner (11' x 5') can cost $150.00 and up. This is reasonable if you plan to reuse the banner to promote an annual event or your organization. Dated lettering or numbering can be removed and new lettering applied.
Design factors: According to professional sign makers anything that can be done on computer can be done on a banner. They can work with your design or they can help you come up with one. Sign makers typically have at least 2,000 font styles to choose from.