Promoting Events and Programs
Want to spread word about an event? Have a brand new program to promote? Need to recruit for an existing program, or communicate out about a change to a program? Here are some pointers on how to effectively spread the word.
Start with the Basics
Before you start planning the promotion of your program or event, you should gather the information needed to answer several basic questions. Knowing these details helps everyone involved focus on the important aspects of promoting the event or program.
Key Questions for Event Promotion
Purpose: How would you summarize the event and its purpose in two to three sentences? Why should someone attend? Who is hosting this event and are there any partners or sponsors?
Audience: Who are the primary and secondary audiences for the event? Is the event intended for a specific group, or is it open to the public?
Time: When will your event be held? Is this a one-time event or will it repeat on a regular basis?
Location: Where will the event take place? Are there clear navigation and parking directions?
Format: Will the event be held in an in-person, hybrid, or virtual format? If hybrid or virtual, what system will be used and when will a link be made available?
Requirements: Will your event require registration or ticketing? Is it free or is there a cost to attend?
Key Questions for Program Promotion
Purpose: How would you summarize the program and its purpose in two to three paragraphs? What makes it different from other programs?
Audience: Who is this program intended for? How will this program benefit those who enroll? How does your audience typically learn about and engage with this type programming?
Time: When will this program launch? What quarters will it be offered? What are the dates and times that the program will take place?
Location: Where will this program be offered? If it's not on the Bellingham campus, will it need to be posted on other location websites/channels?
Format: Will this program be held in an in-person, hybrid, or virtual format?
Requirements: Are there any course, major, or degree requirements that are required for enrollment?
Notify University Communications and University Marketing
If you need to communicate major changes to an existing program or programs, such as a title change or major shift in focus, send an email to email@example.com detailing the changes, and University Marketing will make the necessary updates to current marketing efforts and the main Western site. We will also notify University Communications if a press release is needed.
Announcements and Press Releases
Early in the planning stages, it’s good to reach out to University Communications or the appropriate office about developing and issuing an announcement or press release.
Only specific offices at Western have the authority to issue press releases.
- If you are part of a university college, department, institution, or administrative office, send press release requests and information to University Communications.
- If you are part of an AS Club or student organization, send press release requests and information to AS Communications.
Even if you do not have enough information for a release, you can send a news tip to Western Today.
Promoting Your Program or Event
Calendars (for Event Promotion)
Add your event to the Western events calendar, and/or the Associated Students (AS) Events Calendar, as appropriate.
Western Involvement Network (WIN)
The AS Events Calendar is driven by WIN, a one-stop-shop for students, faculty, and staff to stay up to date on the latest events.
- Any department/organization at Western can put events on WIN.
- Upcoming events on WIN are shown on screens in commons areas across campus.
- WIN offers RSVP options, email notifications to those who are interested in attending, and questionnaires for before and after the event that are automatically emailed to those who RSVP and attend. WIN also has an attendance tracking feature where students can swipe their ID’s or go to a URL link generated by the site to check in.
To get started posting events to the AS Events Calendar, fill out this form for the possibility of having your own event site on WIN. If you have any questions or need assistance, contact Activities Manager Jenn Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Calendar Options
You might want to also explore other community calendar options, including Bellingham Herald, BE in Bellingham, Whatcom Talk, and Cascadia Weekly, etc.
If you want to send a message to a specific campus group, consider including BullsEye in your promotion plan.
BullsEye is a tool that allows faculty and staff to send targeted emails to various groups within Western's community. Recipients can be selected by uploading Western ID numbers or by selecting appropriate departments, employee types, or academic disciplines.
Bullseye is not used to send email to all employees or all students. Please contact University Communications to discuss the best way to reach these groups with your message. Bullseye is instead used to target more specific groups in our community
Post your information on Social Media, either through your established organizational account or work with University Communications to broadcast on the main Western channels. For best practices when posting to Western-affiliated social media accounts, read through the social media guidelines.
You can also ask other relevant university partners to share your content on their feeds. For an official list of who maintains social accounts on behalf of Western, visit the social media aggregator site.
Post print materials on campus kiosks, in poster holders or as banners. See the posting policy for information on available posting locations and quantities.
Reserve use of kiosks through the AS. Drop off printed kiosk displays at the AS Publicity Center, Viking Union 411, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. with a copy of the reservation attached. AS Publicity Center staff will put up displays within two working days. You can only reserve kiosk space for one quarter at a time. For more information on how to work with the AS on promotion/publicity needs, visit AS Publicity.
Submit a Public Service Announcement to KUGS and/or a Public Service Announcement to KMRE 102.3 FM Community Radio.
Display your information on the Viking Union, dining commons, Performing Arts Center, and downtown Alumni scrolling video screens. Images must be pdf, jpeg or png format, dimensions: 1920x1080 72ppi. Depending on where you want your videos/slides displayed, email the creative assets to the right offices. Be sure to send the dates you want the slides to be displayed, including a “kill date” when the slides should be taken down.
- For display in the Viking Union, email VU.Digital.Signage@wwu.edu.
- For display in the dining commons, email email@example.com.
- For display in the Performing Arts Center, email Chris Casquilho at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Dining/Food Services (Edens Hall 109) and request to place Table Tents in the Dining Halls.
Posters and Flyers
Western departments may submit up to 29 posters (12 in the residence halls, 4 in the Viking Union glass cases, and 13 in the glass cases around campus). Posters may be dropped off in the distribution box at VU542 or at the Associated Student Publicity Center during open hours. Maximum size for any poster on campus boards is 11" x 17". A list of on-campus open posting boards can be found on the AS Publicity site.
You can also mail flyers to campus departments. You can send 137 copies of your flyer through mail services with a note to include one flyer per department. Contact Western’s Mail Services to learn more.