Who's your audience?
There are lots of ways to promote your event, group or attraction. The most important thing to determine is who would want to come? Who would be interested? Who is your target audience?
Once you have established who your audience is, you should focus your energy on going to the places where your audience frequent or get their information. For example, an event aimed at families could be promoted in newspaper or radio advertising, social media and school newsletters. An event aimed at retirees is less likely to be well promoted on social media but newspaper and radio advertising, posters and notices in retirement villages would be more effective.
People generally need to hear a message three times before they act, so a plan that covers a variety of channels will have the most success.
The following lists include various media channels you can use to promote your event and suggestions on how to use these channels. You can also see how we can provide support.
The following are media channels you can choose from to develop your event promotion plan. Choose the right channels for your audience:
Word of mouth
This is by far the most powerful way to let people know about your event, group or attraction. Encourage your team of supporters to tell their friends and family about what you are doing. Provide key information in accessible formats so your supporters can get out the key messages.
Online event listings
Eventfinda allows you to list your event for free and various promotion packages are available. Eventfinda is the largest online event listing site. Major events in Kāpiti are pulled through from Eventfinda onto the Positively Wellington Tourism website. It is worth you listing your event as soon as you have confirmed dates and times. www.eventfinda.co.nz
The Council website redirects visitors to Eventfinda for community events
Other websites that offer event listings include:
Other local groups, schools or clubs may agree to include information about your programme in their newsletters, flyers, at meetings, facebook pages or in emails.
If you have a Council sponsored event you can contact us with a story idea for our newsletter.
Set up a Facebook event and invite people to attend. Make regular posts to your event page in the lead up to your event, to keep people interested. Ask your friends and whanau to share your event.
Council offers training on Facebook available through the libraries
Other Facebook groups and pages
Consider other local Facebook Groups or Pages which might be useful in promoting your event (depending on your target audience) such as:
If your event is relevant to the Group or Page’s audience ask the administrators to post about your event then it appears on their wall rather than visitor posts, making it more visible to their fans.
Other social media
Other social media channels are less flexible and prevalent than Facebook. Instagram is a photo sharing tool that can building the ‘story’ behind your the event/organisation. For instance, you can use photos to provide updates or “behind the scenes” photos. Like Facebook you can also advertise and target to location. With Twitter people share short comments. Consider these social media channels if they are well used by your audience.
A number of local and regional newspapers offer free event listings. If you have a good story angle, try contacting a journalist to see if they are interested. Consider paid advertising both within the printed newspaper, or the online versions of the newspaper (like stuff.co.nz), which can be targeted for your particular audience segment.
Sunday Star Times for advertising enquiries, phone Steve Hutton on 09 925 9657 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ōtaki Street Scene, Quarterly colour event brochure. Free event listings, consider advertising. email@example.com 06 364 6543
Some channels offer free event listings. Pitch story ideas to journalists for coverage. Consider paid advertising.
Beach FM 04 296 1399
Coast Access Radio 104.7FM
Kāpiti Coast District Council has installed ten community noticeboards that are available for community groups to book free of charge. The noticeboards are able to be occupied for a maximum of two weeks at a time provided they meet the criteria. Go to the community noticeboards page for more information.
You can also request permission from private land owners or council to place signs outside the road reserve. Your sign must be less than 3m2, be on display for no more than 30 days and be removed within 3 days after your event.
There are the community noticeboards at each of the libraries. Notices and posters for community events and groups must be no bigger than A4 and are subject to review and accepted as space allows.
Other outdoor advertising
There are a number of companies that provide service to install signage on bus backs, cross-street banners, billboards and digital screens, such as QMS
Also the bus shelter advertising company Adshel
Posters and flyers
Phantom Billstickers is a company that will stick up your posters throughout major centres and also distribute flyers throughout the regions.
Other ways you and volunteers can distribute your flyers include, asking cafes to display them, letterbox drop, parked car drop, handing out at railway stations or other pedestrian thoroughfares, like shopping malls. In most places, especially privately owned places, always seek permission first.
Libraries, iSITE and the Community Services Bureau accept flyers for distribution often subject to review and accepted as space allows--check conditions before producing.
It is important to take photos of people enjoying themselves during your event. You can use these on websites, social media, to send to media, to use in reports and for future advertising. Make sure to get written permission from the people you are photographing, especially when children are involved.
Create a visual identity
Create a consistent theme/ brand for your event. Especially if it is a regular or annual event. This creates recognition over time. This can be simple such as an icon/colour scheme/particular font. Use in all communications.
Send a simple email to family and friends informing them of your event and asking them to forward to people they know who might be interested (include photos if possible, or link to your Facebook event).
Create a short promotion video (or photo slideshow) quick interview/video/slideshow to communicate information about the event. Content can include, quick interviews with participants or audience, behind the scenes action shots. Works very well shared social media, websites, email.
Enlist some people to promote your event through their network. Pick people who are influential in the community and perhaps offer them a free ticket in exchange.
Make merchandise like tote bags, t-shirts, buttons to sell or for participants to wear. Good for recurring events as they will have longevity.
Run competitions to win entry to the event or other prizes. This will raise awareness and get people involved.
Festivals and other events
Use events organised by others as a chance to tell people about your event and what is on offer. Think about demonstrations, activity stations or displays at school and church fairs or markets.
Here is a list of markets in Kāpiti: www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/markets
If you have a group that meets regularly for a certain activity here are some channels you can use in addition to those listed above:
Setup a Facebook Group if you want your messages to be available only to invited members. Otherwise, setup a Page that can be used to promote yourself to the public.
Council offers training on Facebook available through Libraries
A directory of community groups and services in the Wellington region: www.communityfinder.org.nz
Council website directs to community finder directory
Build your own database of email addresses by having sign-up sheets at your event, meeting or front desk. Decide on the frequency of your newsletter.
Consider using a free online mail client like Mail Chimp to design, schedule and send your newsletters. Remember, people have to opt-on to your e-newsletter and you must provide an easy way for them to opt-out. Mail clients like Mail Chimp can help you manage your email lists and let people easily subscribe and unsubscribe.
If you have a place you want people to visit, and have regular opening hours, you can use all of the channels listed above as well as these:
Create a Website
Purchasing a domain name and website hosting service for your own website is a valuable investment. There are a number of online services that allow you to create your own website using a template like Wordpress.com
Ask other related organisations, businesses, schools or groups that have a website to link to your site.
If you have a Council sponsored attraction contact us so we can link to your website
You can purchase advertising on search engines like Google or to run advertisements on other people’s websites through online marketing services. You can also enhance the likelihood that your website will appear in search engines by maximising the number of relevant keywords that appear on your website (Adwords).
Setup a Facebook Page that can be used to promote your facility or attraction to the public.
Focus on engaging, relevant content that shows personality and connects you to a wider network. Make your posts 70% opinion, sharing other posts, interesting information and only 30% direct promotion of your event.
Post regularly and use the scheduling tool to space out your posts.
Consider purchase advertising on Facebook. With social media you can target your advertising to certain demographics and spend as little or as much as you want.
Council offers training on Facebook available through Libraries
If you have a Council sponsored attraction contact us so we can like your Page and share posts that may be relevant
Magazines and Guides
If your budget allows, consider paid advertising:
Seek out companies whose image and customers have a good match with your programme and participants. Consider what promotional opportunities will most benefit you and your sponsor. This could be using the channels listed here, or creating targeted opportunities like special sponsor events, giveaways and competitions, a joint story idea to pitch to media, merchandise, naming rights, etc. Sponsors will give you resources to help promote your activity and in return (because they are now linked with you) you will also be promoting the sponsor. Put your agreements in writing, keep your sponsors well informed and remember to follow up after the event with thanks and reporting back.
List your attraction on a review site like www.tripadvisor.com to allow visitors to write share their experiences of your place.
Kāpiti Coast District Council runs workshops on request for groups of a minimum of 12 people
The Wellington City Council has online resources to help you with things like defining your target audience, developing key messages and planning promotions budgets and schedules:
Wellington City Council Spread the Word Guide (5.2MB PDF)
Wellington City Council Spread the Word Planning Sheets (591KB PDF)
Your promotional strategies are only limited by your imagination, time, budget and resources. Get creative with your methods, there is no one right way to promote yourself.
Do you have another suggestion you would like to share with other local event organisers? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org