by Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, PhD
There are many ways to get the word out about your Red Tent. We believe that women will feel compelled to attend if it feels relevant, important and timely, and if it speaks to them. At any given time there will be many possible tie-ins to women’s lives and “hooks” for particular media outlets. Because a Red Tent is a woman-only space, your primary audience will be women. While we suggest that you start by inviting your girlfriends and female family members, we also want to encourage you to consider opening the flaps of your tent a little wider.
Let’s say that you already have 10 girlfriends that you know will attend. Offer these “inspired” women an opportunity to get involved. For example, maybe they can bring some food, give out some postcards, hang some flyers, send some emails, help with set up or any number of other tasks that they are great at.
Take into account how best to reach your audiences. Not everyone uses e-mail or facebook, and not everyone hangs out at progressive coffee shops. A clear understanding of how to reach each audience segment will make you more effective, and the best strategy is a combination of the ideas listed below.
Send an personal email to your friends, family, co-workers (who might be interested), or your email mailing list (business). We have created a email template that you can download. We recommend you send out these emails at least twice: two weeks before, and then a reminder a few days before our event.
Other people you might invite by email:
- Inivte the owners/organizers of the venue
- Invite your community leaders
- Invite other local organizations or women’s groups
- Invite the press
Create a Facebook Event & invite your facebook friends. Not sure how, here’s a step-by-step plan for you. (This may have changed depending if Facebook made any recent graphical changes)
||1. log into your facebook account2. Go to your facebook page
3. Click the “More” link (currently located next to your # of friends). Scroll down to “Events” & click it
4. Click “Create Event” and follow the on-screen instructions.
If you are needing info for your Facebook Event we suggest that you download the email template and use that same information. And feel free use any photo or drag & drop (or right click) any photo from this website for this promotion.
Be sure to enable the features that allow people to forward your event information to their friends. You can also just send a message with the event information to your friends and to groups that might be interested.
We have designed this list to be comprehensive in order to empower you to do the best Red Tent possible. We realize that some sections will not be applicable to everyone and this section on local media is a great example – depending on your objectives and your audience, you may or may not decide to pursue media coverage. That’s fine, as it’s all about how best to reach and impact your audience. But read on for some guidance for how simple media outreach can be!
We understand that many small groups or community organizations may have limited capacity, so we’ve put together some basic tips that can be useful to those who are new to working with local media. Before you make complicated plans about how to promote your Red Tent, spend some time thinking about who is most likely to understand and appreciate it, and what media our target audience listens to, reads and logs on to. By targeting your core audience of women, you might decide that it makes more sense to focus on, say, an alternative weekly paper that already covers innovative community initiatives vs. the headline-driven daily paper that tends to focus on crime and celebrities.
Below are some basic tips for your media outreach:
Use the template press release as a guide to create your own. Ten days before the event, issue the release to a wide range of mainstream, alternative, community and specialized media. Make sure to send it to reporters covering women’s issues, the arts/entertainment, and metro sections.
Here are a number of ideas:
- If the Press wants more info about the Red Tent
- Get on local calendar listings
- Make calls to local television and radio programs.
Here’s who to contact:
- Local TV news: assignment editors
- Public affairs or magazine programs: producers
- Talk radio or local/community radio: producers or hosts
A couple of days prior to your Red Tent contact the people to whom you sent press materials and encourage them to attend.
Acknowledgements “Portions of this guide were adapted from the Made in L.A. Event Planning Toolkit, created by the filmmakers of Made in L.A. (www.MadeinLA.com) and based on materials developed by Active Voice (www.activevoice.net) with funding from P.O.V