How You Can Make Sharing Your Message a Priority
When you’re putting on an event or program there’s a lot to think about and marketing tends to get put on the back burner. It’s an afterthought. You think, “First I’m going to focus on getting this project done and then I’ll worry about marketing.” I get it. I do. But today I’m going to talk about how, if you want to spread the good that you’re creating, you need to give more attention to marketing. The easiest way to do this is when you’re planning your event or program. Right off the bat you need to incorporate ways to make your good work sharable. By sharable I don’t just mean creating a post on social media. I mean purposefully creating opportunities for your audience to talk about your work to their social circles and opportunities for the media to do stories highlighting your work.
Thoughtfully making your good work shareable right from the start, is going to make your life so much easier once it’s time to start marketing. When you’re creating an event ask yourself, “How would I share this with my friends? How would my target audience share this with their friends?” Depending on your work you’ll be able to come up with a lot of different answers, but here are the three best ways to make anything and everything sharable: 1) have a quick, concise message, 2) create photo opportunities, and 3) get your message/event/program on social media.
First things first; you have to be able to wrap up your message in a couple of quick sentences. Don’t ramble: don’t start pulling out a bunch stats or industry jargon. In a few quick sentences, what is the point of your work? Recently I’ve started hearing other marketers say this and it makes a lot of sense… ask yourself about your work, “So what? Who cares?” You need to be able to quickly identify the problem, give it some context (the “so what” portion of your answer), and share your solution to the problem. Don’t make it complicated. Remember KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid. If you can’t easily share your message, how do you expect your audience to be able to easily share your message? Have your story wrapped up, ready to go, and easy to share.
Need an example? If you’re ever looking for inspiration for great communication techniques, look to Charity Water. They have some of the best communication and marketing. If you do a quick scroll through their website you can see how they quickly get their messages across to their audience. They identify the problem (in layman’s terms) and offer a clear solution with what they’re doing. Audiences can easily identify exactly what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how they’re doing. They keep it simple and are able to do a lot and share their message all over.
Second, create great photo opportunities. There’s two reasons this is important: first, if you want to reach out to media for coverage, unless it’s a radio station, they’re going to need something to feast their eyes (or camera lenses) on. Second, posting and sharing photos. Purposefully creating great photo opportunities gives cameras something to look at and audiences something to share with their friends and family. Whether that’s setting up a photo booth or giving people something like silly hats to wear or just making the tables where people are sitting beautiful, keep photos in mind. If you have a stage or space where you are giving people an award or recognition, or someone is speaking or performing, make sure there aren’t bathroom or exit signs in the frame.
If you’re not a visual person, find someone who is and ask them for help in creating photo opportunities. Creating great photo opportunities is something I’m still learning how to do, and I’m getting better because I ask friends for help. You know the best type of people to ask for help with this? If you have a friend who enjoys photography in your life, ask them. They’re great and will be especially good with noticing lighting and little details in the background. But you know who is sometimes the best person to ask? That friend who is always taking selfies, taking pictures and posting them. That friend constantly is looking for a great photo opportunity and will have great ideas for you. That selfie loving friend is a wealth of knowledge!
Last, PLEASE make sure your event has a designated space online. This doesn’t just mean making a few quick status updates about your event. Create an event page for it, create a group for it, create an entire social media handle for it, do whatever is appropriate for your event. If you can, create a website for it. There’s a joke, if it’s not on social media, did it even happen? Or another joke, it’s Facebook official. We like to tease but it’s true: once something is on social media it has more legitimacy and it’s because it can be seen and shared; it becomes more official. People can search for your event and people can share your event. Plus, it’s the easiest way to share information and photos with followers. Make sure your event is posted somewhere online and that it’s easy to share.
So there you go, do-gooders. Each event has creative different ways you can share, but these three things always need to be included too. Make sure your incorporating ways to share your good work right from the get go and you will be so thankful later that you did.