Publicity and Invitation
We hope these guidelines and tips will help get your event in front of the right audience in order to meet your participation and attendance goals. For very high profile events, please contact Catenya McHenry for guidance.
Tips for making your event stand out:
Keep your event title short, descriptive, and to the point.
Provide a contact person who may be reached at all times.
Use the description to communicate your event’s appeal to a wide audience.
Be sure to note whether your event is free and/or open to the public.
Submission deadlines may vary.
There isn't a whole lot of motivation on the press's part to generate attendance to an event, particularly if the event is open only to a select audience (as in academic peers, students, corporate partners, etc.). Event publicity isn't their job, unless the event has a wide general appeal.
As a general rule, we suggest you try to interest reporters in covering an event as it happens, rather than prior to the event. But obviously, you must think ahead, and begin to generate press interest prior to the event.
To make your event appealing to a reporter, it helps to:
Make the event open to the public
Invite the reporter and offer exclusive access for interviews with high-profile presenters
Frame the activities or topics of the event in a manner that relates to current topics in the news
Work with presenters to identify new information that will be presented at the event (it helps if the information has high public interest or even controversy)
Let reporters know about interesting guests or attendees
Send a press release targeted to a specific reporter or publication. See Examples of UT Press Releases.
Contact Molly Dannenmaier for assistance with media contacts on behalf of the school, or to get a release published on the UT news site.
Perhaps the easiest and most timely way to get the word out to the school is to post your event on Facebook. Anyone with a Facebook account can post events or announcements to our “wall”.
McCombs has a school-wide Twitter account and there are several programs and offices that also have Twitter identities. Creating your own Twitter account will let you tweet your event announcements, using appropriate #tags so that people can find you. One excellent side benefit of this DIY approach is that you can set up #tags for people to use as they tweet while attending your event. (See Event Coverage)
Event Calendars are linked to the McCombs home page, and are divided into sections for BBA, MBA, MPA, MSTC, Alumni, Commencement and Major Events, with several sub-categories. Contact each program office to list events on their calendar.
Major events are conferences, challenges, symposiums, career fairs and C-level executive speakers that are generally open to the public and of wide interest. Upcoming events from this calendar are featured each week on the McCombs home page. To submit an event to the Major Events Calendar, contact Gayle Hight.
Many of the program offices have news blogs targeted to their individual students or alumni, each with a contact e-mail for submitting information about news and events. Whether your event will be featured in a blog post is the decision of the individual blog administrator.
Publicity posters can be posted on the bulletin boards, in the elevators, and in bathrooms around the building, and there are plasma video displays in key locations. In addition, it is possible to hang large banners on the walkway outside the building. Be sure to read the MSB Policy for Posting Flyers or Posters and Hanging Banners for instructions.
If you have a LinkedIn account, you may not realize how easy it is to use it for promotion. Sign up for groups that align with the interests of your event and post it to their members to see as a News or Discussion topic (groups like the Texas Exes might be a great place to start). Many LinkedIn members get summary e-mails from groups they belong to that go to their email inbox, so this can be a far-reaching tool if used creatively. Or, share it with your professional contacts by writing a status update that links to your web site.
You can now submit your event through HornsLink. Go to HornsLink to submit an event. UT EID required.
Go to the group email page for information about sending university-wide messages. These are generally reserved for things that are open to anyone or are major initiatives, so use your discretion on whether or not you think your event qualifies.