How to Publicize Your Events

Now that you’re a language advocate…

How to publicize your events

Once you’ve decided to become a language advocate, the next important step is to publicize your event or program to bring awareness to your community about the importance of language education. The main way to publicize your language events is through a press release. While it may seem daunting at first, press releases are not that difficult to write. First, check with your journalism colleague. He or she may have a press release template that is used and can save you time. Your press release may serve several purposes: to announce events and invite the media, to issue a statement on an issue or to provide background information. Most likely you will want your press release to announce upcoming language events and to get as much publicity for your students and programs as possible. The first paragraph of your press release should include information on your program or group (in the case of events by language clubs), as well as the who, what, when, where and why of the event. Be sure to give all pertinent information about the event, so much so that a reporter could write a story using just your press release. If there is a chance for a photo, include “photo opportunity will be available”. If you are writing after an event you can even attach digital photos to the press release, or note that photos are available in digital format. Press releases should be as concise as possible. Be sure to include a contact name as well as a phone number where the contact person may be reached. You want to make it as easy as possible for the journalists to contact you and write the story.To whom should you send your press release? Anyone and everyone who would have an opportunity to publicize your events. This includes your principal, school board members, and district personnel. (In these cases, you may consider having student write a formal invitation to the event before sending out the press release.) Radio stations, as well as local newspapers and TV stations are great contacts. Again, your colleagues are great resources. Coaches often have newspaper contacts and may be able to help you with fax numbers. If not, call the station or newspaper directly and ask for the local news/events department. Once you’ve assembled a list of fax numbers the task of sending out press releases will be even easier. Many newspapers even have a form online you can fill out to submit online. In any case, be sure to send out your press release around two weeks ahead of time. (Many TV stations will want information for their community calendars a month before, so check with your local media.) Don’t forget the most local media of all! Your school newspaper: Make contact with your journalism/yearbook advisor so that your students’ work gets recognized.Remember, if a tree falls and no one’s around..the same goes for language events. You may have the perfect event planned to demonstrate the importance of language education, but if no is around to hear it. Want more information about press releases, including an example? Check out CLTA’s new advocacy link at CLTA.netTogether we can make lasting changes in language education!