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Tips for Promoting an Event

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Event Promotion Planning

Questions to ask:

  • Who is your audience? Is this event open to the public, the Cornell community, or a restricted group? Will the subject matter be of interest to a broad audience? Will it attract undergraduate students, or only faculty and grad students in a particular field?
  • Department/Program priorities: is this considered a marquee event for the semester?
  • Do you have a budget for promotion? that includes designed posters and digital screens, radio spots and/or social media advertising?
  • How much time do you have to promote the event? (The more time you have to plan, the more promotional opportunities exist.)
  • What are your cross-promotional opportunities? What departments/programs/organizations are co-sponsoring the event? Are there student or community organizations that would find this event of interest?

Free Promotional Options

University events calendar:

Targeted Emails

  • Cross-promote with co-sponsors, student and community organizations and appropriate listservs
  • make sure your subject line is compelling

Press Release

Local Calendars: submission 2 weeks before event usually required for print, except for online calendars you fill out yourself

Cornell Chronicle

  • Prewrite (equivalent of a press release)
  • Things to Do (curated by Dan Aloi), curated by University Communications

  • Pano (large, panoramic image at top of, which links to an event or story)
  • Spotlight (usually links to University Events Calendar entry)

Pawprint: for events involving staff or that staff might want to attend)

Social Media 

  • Facebook 
    • Create a Facebook event, with link to Cornell Events Calendar listing, for best effect 
    • Ask co-sponsors, student and community organizations to help promote the Facebook event.
    • Post any pre-writes to department page
    • Reuse digital screen graphics for promotion
  • Twitter
    • Post prewrites 
    • Reuse digital screen graphics for promotion
    • Use #twithaca to post to Ithaca newsfeed if event is open to the public
  • LinkedIn
    • Use if targeting alumni to attend
  • Instagram 
    • Use if targeting students to attend

Faculty promotion: provide them with PowerPoint slide to show to class, ask them to consider giving credit for event attendance

Sidewalk chalk: student orgs use chalking to great effect around Ho Plaza and other major thoroughfares

Paid Options

  • Designed and Printed Posters and/or quarter cards
  • Poster distribution via Student Agencies
  • Google Adwords
  • Facebook Ads
  • Radio Spots
  • Print media advertising (Ithaca Times, Ithaca Journal, etc.)

Working with the A&S Communications Office

  1. Let us know as soon as you can about your event — even if you don’t know all the details. We are here to help.
  2. If it is a marquee event for the semester, send Linda Glaser the date and topic as soon as it is known (and a minimum of 3 weeks before the event), so she can determine if a Chronicle/A&S Website prewrite is appropriate.
  3. Send a digital screen to Scott Haber. 16x9 aspect ratio, 1920x1080 pixels (landscape format). If you don't have a designed screen, send the event details in text form to Scott and he will create a screen, using our standard template.
  4. If the event is open to the public, you may want to create a Facebook event to help build interest in attending. If you do so, please send Kathy Hovis the link. She can share the Facebook event on the College’s Facebook page.
  5. Tag your University Events Calendar entry for the event with CASCAL so it will feed the College’s website events listing for that day.

Our communications team meets every Tuesday morning to determine which events we plan to promote for the rest of the week and the top of next week. We’ll make best efforts to help you promote your event, but we cannot guarantee that we can accommodate your request without some advance notice.