Promoting Your Event on Campus
What BCO is and how we can help
The Bates Communications Office (BCO) tells the college’s story across multiple channels to many audiences. BCO supports the college’s goals and provides strategic direction for its communications. BCO offers this tool kit to staff and faculty seeking to promote campus events and opportunities to the Bates community.
Tools and DIY ideas for Event Organizers
- Napkin holders – Small (6”x4”) flyers that are inserted into napkin holders on the tables in Commons and the Den are effective at reaching students and staff. To reserve space in the napkin holders, contact Darlene Zupancic with Dining Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: The sooner you put your request in with Dining Services the better, as the use of napkin holders is often reserved weeks in advance.
- Chalking – The college’s policy on non-curricular student public displays addresses chalking and is available on the Campus Life website.
- Flyers/Posters and where to hang them – Please post flyers and publicity materials only on established bulletin boards and public poster areas. Do not post on doors, windows, buildings, lamp posts, or in stairwells. The college discourages advertising the presence of alcohol. Illustrations or pictures of alcohol on posters is not permitted.
Email and listservs
- Bates Today – This daily email digest is one of the best ways to share information with all students. All students automatically receive Bates Today daily emails. Members of the campus community with Bates email accounts can subscribe online. As of May 2017, Bates Today had 2,200 subscribers and generated 775 click-throughs per day.Announcements must be submitted via this form by noon in order to be included in the next day’s Bates Today. Announcements for the Weekend and Monday editions must be submitted by noon on Friday.When creating an announcement, remember that your subject line will become the clickable link that students see. Please limit it to 70 characters and make it as clear as possible to encourage interested readers to learn more.Staff members in the Office of Campus Life evaluate announcements each day and identify those to mark as “Featured.” These decisions will be informed by staff members’ consideration of a range of factors.The event listings in Bates Today are pulled from the campus Event Management System. When you reserve space in EMS you will be asked, “Would you like this event included in the Bates Today daily event listing?“ Indicating “YES” will submit your event to also be included in Bates Today.
- Email listservs – The efficacy of a listserv in promoting a campus event depends on how strong and active the list is. If your listserv is comprised of engaged members who have opted in to the list, then emailing this group is a best practice. Conversely, using larger listservs with unknown members (or those who didn’t opt in) is less likely to drive event attendance. BCO cannot assist you in identifying or creating a listserv for your event.
- Email signature – A quick and easy way to promote your upcoming event is to include the who, what, where, when, or link, in your email signature. With every email you send, they’ll be aware of the event and can click a link to learn more or buy tickets.
- Events calendar – BCO distributes a monthly email listing of public Bates events to subscribers and maintains a public event listing at bates.edu/events. Putting your event into these publications is easily done when you reserve space for the event in EMS:
- Use the regular Request form (not the EZ form) in EMS
- Click the Details tab
- In the “Is your event open to the public outside Bates” space, select the calendar (“Academics,” etc.) that best fits your event.
- Please include a brief (50-60 word) description of your event that includes a contact phone number or email address for public questions, and the cost and purchasing point for tickets, if applicable.
- Bates News – Because Bates News targets alumni, parents, and friends of Bates and is mostly read by those beyond our campus, it is not a great vehicle for publicizing campus events or events that are not open to the public. There are occasions, however, when an event would warrant coverage in Bates News, such as when an acclaimed or newsworthy speaker, artist, or performer comes to campus.When in doubt, contact Jay Burns, editorial director, to see if your event could be an item for Bates News, but please know that the bar for coverage is high, and that coverage most often occurs recapping the event, which will not help drive attendance.
- Social media channels – With a few exceptions, the college’s official social media channels are aimed at alumni, parents, and prospective students, making them poor vehicles for promoting and boosting attendance at on-campus events. The college’s official social media channels are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Snapchat.
- Press releases and news coverage – BCO can help get the word out to local and state media if your event has strong news value or a timely connection to current events. For help in determining if your event warrants a Bates College press release or outreach to the media, please contact email@example.com. All college news and information released to the media should be coordinated through his office.
- Monitor slides – The college displays monitor slides across campus that are managed by Post & Print. If you would like to share a message via monitor slide, Post & Print can work with you to fit that message into a template. We recommend keeping monitor slide messages short and keeping text big — slides are up for approximately 10 seconds, and people are walking by! Think of it as a digital highway billboard.
- Mouthpiece posters – The “Mouthpiece” (the glass-encased kiosk in front of Hathorn) is usually reserved for important campus-wide events, such as Commencement and MLK Day. However, the Mouthpiece can be used for other events, provided they have a strong campus-wide appeal involving a sought-after speaker or presenter. BCO requires a two-month advance notice to design, produce, and print the large posters required for the Mouthpiece. The posters cost approximately $200, which is paid by the event host. Grace Kendall, director of design services at BCO, can help you determine if a Mouthpiece poster is appropriate for your event.
- The Bates Student – The student newspaper is published every Wednesday while the college is in session, except for exam weeks and certain weeks before and after vacations. The paper’s editors and writers change frequently so please refer to a recent copy of The Student to determine appropriate contacts.
- Submitting a story idea – Editorial deadlines require that story ideas should be submitted to the paper’s editor, or a specific writer if one has been identified, several weeks in advance of your event. Develop a “pitch” – a pithy 100-word summary of why your event is a good story for The Student to cover. Include in your pitch the details of the event time and location, as well as your contact information so that editors and reporters can follow up with you.
- Buying an ad – Placing an ad in The Student could be an effective way to publicize your event. The deadline to submit an ad is typically three days prior to the Wednesday of publication.
- Letter to the Editor – Letters to the Editor must be received by 6pm on Sunday for Wednesday’s publication. Letters should not exceed 500 words. Please email them to the Managing Forum Editor.
- WRBC – At this time the student-run radio station does not allow Public Service Announcements or advertising of campus events.