Promotion is key to raising awareness of LGBT History Month and to the success of individual events. Planning your promotion carefully is as important as planning your event. It means that you need to think through the bestmeans of promoting your event, based on your target audience. It also requires some preparation to ensure that promotion takes place at the appropriate times.
Key questions to ask include:
- Do you want to issue press releases? When do these need to go out?
- What is your target audience? Which type of promotion will be most appropriate to reach it?
- When do you want to start advertising, issue invites orreminders?
- How do you expect to receive responses or can participants just turn up?
- Try and think outside the box in terms of targeting your audience. Would a viral campaign be more powerful? Where would your audience also be likely to see your messages?
Outlined here are some common forms of promotion to consider for advertising LGBT History Month events.
Can be displayed in shop windows, libraries, on community notice boards and other suitable sites. A4 posters can be printed up on a home printer. Don't try and squeeze in too much detail – your graphics and type should be large. If you have some money, flyers are not too expensive, or photocopy some and (with permission) put flyers in venues that your target audience might visit (pubs, clubs, libraries, universities, etc.).
Newspapers, radio and television
Try contacting local newspapers ortelevision and radio stations that may be interested in covering an exciting newevent, particularly as it plays into the broader story of LGBT History Month. Try and think of a good angle: this may be the first LGBT History Month event in your area or you may have local orvisiting dignitaries that back LGBT equality – get a quote from them and put it in your press release.
Direct mail and leaflets
You can organise leaflet drops through various delivery agencies, but if you operate very locally ask members of your group or supportive groups to help out with distributing flyers and putting up posters. This will help to both promote your event and build good links for the future.
Use your own website if you have one. Facebook and Twitter are great ways to promote an event, especially Facebook which will let you set up an online 'event', provide details, directions, and invite friends. Making the event public will mean that your friends can invite their own friends. If it comes across well, the event may be shared widely and picked up attendees who wouldn't otherwise have heard of it.
You could also make a list of networks and organisations (both local and national) who might be interested in promoting your night and ask them to e-mail members about the event. Make sure you do all the work for them – write them a clear e-mail with all event details, contact details, etcetera.
LGBT History Month is about coming together as a community, so don't forget to tell everyone you know personally: e-mail, telephone, Facebook chat… and ask them to let their friends know too!