Promote your Event
During the Adult Learners' Festival 2016, The AONTAS Communications Team will promote festival activities through national and regional media coverage, as well as running a local and national advertising campaign. The 10th Adult Learners' Festival is an ideal opportunity to gain publicity for your organisation and the important work you do in relation to adult learning.
Here's how you can promote the activities of your organisation during the festival:
- Write a press release outlining your involvement in the festival
- Develop case studies: be prepared to let the media know about real life success stories from adult learners
- Contact local journalists to tell them what your organisation is doing to mark the Festival, suggest ideas for articles to them and invite them to any events you are holding during the week of the Festival
- Arrange interviews with your local or community radio station
- Be aware of deadlines - check with each local newspaper what their deadline is for receiving press releases
- Write letters to the letters pages of local and national newspapers, highlighting issues of importance to adult learners or pledging your support for the Adult Learners' Festival
- Send AONTAS your press releases to local media contacts
- If your organisation has a website, include a paragraph about the Festival on its homepage, with a link to the official Adult Learners' Festival site, www.adultlearnersfestival.com
- If your organisation has its own newsletter or magazine, use it to publicise your involvement in the Adult Learners' Festival
- Word of mouth is one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways of sharing your event information. Personal recommendation - especially from an existing learner and someone people can relate to - can be a real motivator for others to join in. You can ask them to inform friends, distribute leaflets or tell their story by being a case study. Remember to tell your work colleagues, family and friends too! Word of mouth can be particularly effective if your target group aren't confident with literacy or if English isn't their first language
By deciding your target group at the beginning, the process of attracting your audience is made much easier, as you can then concentrate your efforts on reaching specific groups of people.
- Where your audience go - eg shops, doctors' surgeries, local church, local chamber of commerce, local welfare office
- What they read - eg newspapers, newsletters, and websites
- What they listen to - eg radio, other people within the community
- Speak to your target audience and ask them where they would pick up information.
How to Write a Press Release
Writing a press release is an effective way to help you and your organisation gain publicity for activities you organise for the Adult Learners Festival. You can find a sample press release below- this is intended solely as a guideline for groups that are organising festival events. Simply modify the template press release to include details of your organisation's name, the event you are organising, the date, the venue, etc. and send it to your media contacts and keep the following points in mind:
- Press releases should always be typed and, preferably, should be e-mailed to your media contacts, rather than posted or delivered by hand.
- Never include a press release as an attachment in your email- always include it in the body of the email.
- Press releases should be consistent in appearance. You could put your organisation's logo at the top of every press release you send out. Underneath the logo, put the words 'Press Release' and list your contact details and the date and time of the release. At the end, type the word 'ENDS'.
- Your headline should be attention-grabbing, short and to the point.
- Emphasise events that promote photo opportunities, or supply them with photos yourself.
- The first paragraph should 'hook' the reader - again, it should be short and get straight to the point of the press release. The rest of the press release should answer the questions: who, what, why, when, where and how?
- If publicising an event, make sure to include details of time, place and who to contact for further information.
- Use quotes from the people involved in your organisation (e.g. the Director, CEO or an adult learner) to emphasise the points you are making and make it more interesting.
- Use direct and simple language throughout the press release. Do not use jargon, abbreviations or acronyms.
- Keep your press release short and to the point - try to keep it to one page, if possible.
- Include background information about your organisation, or the contents of the press release, in a 'Note to Editors'.
- Follow up your press release with a phone call to the journalist.