Thursday, February 18, 2010

Publicity heaven...

This week I have been thinking about publicity...when and how you go about letting people know that you are here.

This all came about because an organisation I know decided to have an open day....

This is a wonderful opportunity to show people what happens in our building was the internal memo to all the building residents.

“But who will come to the open day,” I asked innocently to an inmate of this building.

People who are interested in what people in this building do.

“But this building is ugly. You can’t find the front door because it is on the opposite side of the building from the car park. There is no reception. There are three floors of doors to national offices and a communal lunch room at the back on the second floor,” I said matter of factly.

People might still be interested.

“What is your publicity hook? What’s in it for them? Why would someone bother to come into the middle of the city where you can’t get a park (coz you won’t get one outside your building with the two visitors car parks which are never empty) to visit you?” I asked belligerently this time...because this was looking like an exercise in futility.

People might still be interested.

“Who is this people? Who are your target audience?” I asked pointedly

Um not sure. Anyway we’re having it. The general manager has already advertised it (without telling anyone beforehand) None of us knows what we are doing on this day so we’re just going to be working and prepared to speak to anybody who wants to talk to us in our capacity of national organisation.

“Yeah right.”

There will be pancakes....I think...

Can you see some of the problems here in this attempt at raising a profile.
No targeted audience.
No onboard involvement from the people it directly affects.
Nothing new to tell anyone.
No carrot to bring in the people....there were free pancakes as it happened...the buildings inmates enjoyed a nice lunch and some waifs and strays did too...courier drivers...the odd person who had to be there for an appointment...and discovered an open day.

Plan your publicity carefully. Have a reason. Why do you want publicity? It could be a new book...a reprint...a book launch... Your best friend, visiting author, minor celebrity, really interesting person... is coming to town and you want to celebrate with an event.

Let everyone in your target audience know...many times...make it a must be there event...

Generate gossip, if you have no publicity budget.

Think creatively.

Have a definite hook and involve everyone in planning and promoting from the beginning.

Have a timeline and work backwards from the event so that you allow yourself plenty of time to generate buzz.

Giveaways, competitions, free food, buskers...all add to the atmosphere...

Authors can write their own publicity packs. They can involve their target audience...head for the library and offer to do something public...Design a tee-shirt to promote my next book...signed copy and free food prize...then get the library to promote it by telling the local win...

Here is a sample of the different things you can do. Read Marcia Yudkin on how to get started.
Read Vocalist on the nuts and bolts of putting something together...(if you have a budding muso in the house this site is great) and go here if it all gets too hard and you want to throw money at the problem to make it go away.

In geek news I had a sneak peek at the inside of Carter Observatory today. Carter reopens in March with a brand new planetarium...even tho the builders are working, I felt like I was on the set of Star Trek...aaaaaaaahh geek heaven. (they just need to add the sound effects on the doors...)


Harvey Molloy said...

I'm looking forward to the new planetarium too. It seems like ages since I've seen a show.

Maureen said...

Hi Harvey,
Open day is the 27th and I have to be in Christchurch....there is no justice for geeks....

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