What we need from you:
EVERYTHING … as soon as it becomes available, including who, what, when, where, why and how much?
Communicating early with News and Media Relations is key. As soon as you say, “Let’s put on an event!”, contact our office and bring us into the loop. Invite us to your planning meetings, especially the first couple of them! Assign someone on your event committee to be a liaison with NMR to keep us fully informed. Let us know each time there is a change in your event plans.
Information about your speakers, for example, can be critical to getting your event good publicity. As soon as a speaker confirms, ask for a bio, high-resolution photo, contact information, website and/or book, and have him or her send it to the NMR office or to you to relay to us. (Check the contract, too, for restrictions on media access and other areas.) Will your speaker(s) be accessible before the event? May we contact someone for an interview by phone or email to include in pre-event publicity? If your speaker arrives a day early or stays for an extra day, we can arrange radio and TV interviews more easily.
Timing your publicity is almost as important as what it includes. C-SPAN, for example, requires two months’ advance notice of an event to consider it for coverage. If we don’t have plenty of good information from you in plenty of time, we will miss that window. Other media’s schedules may not be as tight, but it’s good practice to assume they are. Our effectiveness is in direct proportion to how far in advance we know about your event. If you’re planning an event two, four, six, eight months from now, one of your first steps should be to notify us; don’t wait until two weeks before everyone shows up! Every day in advance we know about your event can give us more time to lay out and implement a great publicity plan for you.
Placing your publicity is a factor, too. Are there appropriate places in town and the surrounding areas for publicity? For example, think about restaurant and business marquees. You also can reach people who are coming to MTSU for other events: conferences, seminars, lectures, athletic events and the like by getting permission for a table display or to insert fliers in their information packets.
Remember: Changing details at the last minute, after we’ve begun publicizing your event, will confuse your audience and detract from the event. Make sure all your event details—venues, times, speakers, any special information—are concrete and your message is consistent in all publicity. Bad impressions, confusion and negative perceptions arise from mixed messages, wild-goose chases, locked doors, wrong locations and times.
When you’re ready to get noticed, call us at 615-898-2919 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re ready to help!