Start thinking about how you can get the word out to Browncoats in your community. Design posters and handouts/fliers. Are there local sci-fi clubs you can contact? Local sci-fi events, conventions, or any other kind of event you might find a Browncoat at that you can ask to distribute fliers at? Ask at any local universities, there are usually several clubs that fit this description. For templates for posters check out the forums. Promotion is the key to a successful event, and the first thing you need is a way for people to get the necessary information, such as venue, dates, cost etc. There are four main areas for event promotion:
• Traditional Media – newspapers, magazines, radio, television
• Online – social networking sites, message boards, banner adverts
• On-site promotion – displaying and distributing flyers and posters at conventions, schools, businesses etc
• Word of mouth – telling friends, colleagues, family etc
Each of these kinds of promotions works in a different way, and you’ll need to prepare a specific plan of attack for each. Traditional Media
For this, you will need to put together a Media Release. For ideas, check out the Media Releases on the Press
section of our website.
You should include your date, venue and website as well as a local media contact. The media contact should be available by phone and email, and they should be prepared to field calls from journalists regarding the event – so make sure they know exactly what is going on! Get a few people to review your Media Release before you send it out – there’s nothing worse than having a journalist spot a spelling error. The Media Release can be faxed or emailed to local newspapers, radio stations, television shows (like talk shows, morning shows etc), podcasts and any other traditional media outlets you can think of. Don’t be afraid to send it far and wide – the more attention you can get the better! Send your Media Release at least 4 weeks before the event, or in time for any deadlines. It is a good idea to make enquiries in advance so that you know who to send it to and when they would need it by.Online
A lot of information is spread online now, and it’s often considered one of the best ways to reach specific target audiences. The Browncoat Community is a great place to start, so post your event where local Browncoats will find it – this could include Browncoat specific websites/message boards, and other websites where fans of television come together.
Social networking sites are also a great place to promote your event. Sites like MySpace, Facebook, Ning and Live Journal are home to many people who may be interested in your event. On MySpace, you can create a profile for your event, and invite people spread the word and become a “friend” of your event. With Facebook, you can list the event, and invite people to attend. For Live Journal, you can search for communities with similar interests (e.g. Firefly, Serenity, Joss Whedon) and post an entry about your event. Contacting fan friendly websites is also a great way to spread the word. Check out other sci-fi fan sites, fan clubs, television news/review/gossip sites... anywhere you think your potential audience may be. Approach the organizer of the group or media contact and tell them about the event – if you can get them excited about your event, they are more likely to promote your event to their members. You can also list your event on community websites such as local event guides and Craigslist, and if your venue has a website, ask if they can post the details of your event.On-site Promotion
Not all of your target audience is hooked into the internet, so it’s still extremely useful to print off flyers and posters and put them where your target audience will see them. If your venue permits it, put up a poster with the event details clearly visible. You should also contact local businesses and ask to put up a poster on their wall, a flyer in their window, or leave some flyers on a counter. Some of the places you might try are: cafes, bookstores, libraries, video stores, recreational centers, community notice boards, college campuses, comic book stores, hobby stores, supermarkets, department stores, shopping malls, gas stations, etc.Word of Mouth
Telling everyone you know about your event can be a very successful way of getting people to attend – not just your friends, but friends of friends too. Keep some flyers with you at all times so you can pass them out. And don’t limit it to just your family and friends. Tell your work colleagues, neighbors, school contacts, members of any teams or clubs you’re in... even random strangers! You just never know who might be interested (or know someone else who might be interested). However you advertise, just remember the key point – it’s all for a good cause.
Remember, using the official CSTS art identifies you as an approved CSTS event. Be sure to include the Can't Stop The Serenity name in all of your promotion.