Friday, April 10, 2009

Spread the word. Share the love.

A sparkling new Unite for Change resource is going up and will be available at in the coming days and we want to share the scoop with you. We hope you find this information helpful and wish you loads of luck, success and of course mad empowerment for your next campus event!
ALPHA TO OMEGA- Creating Successful Campus Programs that Thrive

What’s in a name? Everything! Brainstorm, get creative, be bold and go for it. Coming up with an exciting title for your program may seem like a minor detail but it can make a huge impact on the appeal, attendance and overall success of your program. Suggestion: Think interesting and powerful rather than mysterious and fearful.

When choosing the topic of your program be sure it is relevant to your campus community, that the information is current and you have resources available to refer students to when they ask for more information. Also, make sure it’s something your core group of activist’s is comfortable discussing.

Reaching out to the entire campus community takes a lot of effort, planning and partnering. Reach out to student organizations separately; you will likely be surprised with how willing they are to encourage participation among their members. Think about class and team schedules as well as other campus events and plan in advance (one year out is ideal). Also consider how much time the audience is willing to commit to. Is a lengthy event too much?

Know what your goals and objectives are. In a perfect world, what’s the ideal outcome of your program? Remember, simple is good. You can’t change your campus culture over night.

Whether it’s on-line ads, posters, media, several small events, a big bash, info tables or a combination there of, when deciding on the best approach to convey your message consider your current campus vibe. Try one or two things or incorporate as many as you like to create a massive campus wide campaign. As with any event the most important elements to consider are: the audience, location and budget. No matter what you choose, keep it fresh and keep it real.

Publicity and promotion are muy importante! 50% of your time should be focused on building up the hype. Booking a speaker and reserving a room is not going to do it, you’ve got to get excited, get creative, and develop a marketing plan and work - it- out.

Partnering with other organizations will not only ease your work load and unite campus leaders, it will diversify your audience and increase attendance. Working as a team will help you achieve optimal success. P.S. Isn’t coming together what ending sexual violence is all about?

Get a diverse group of campus leaders involved and invested in the cause. Consider inviting a representative from each student organization on your campus as well as several key faculty and staff members to your meetings. Invite those people to invite their people to your event(s). Participation contests are fun.

Find out what your event committee’s strengths are and use em’! Assign small groups to take care of specifics such as budget, advertising, donations, d├ęcor, speakers, recruitment, set-up/ clean-up, etc.

Find out what people thought about the campaign or program. Evaluation forms are useful for formal events but asking for general feedback works too. De-briefing will help your programs get even better.

Keep talking about your event afterwards. Get coverage in the paper, on-line, wherever you can. People will wonder what they missed and be more likely to attend next time, but at the very least people will be talking about it and hey, isn’t that the goal?

Make it more than one program, get the campus community involved year round. Monthly discussion groups (free food is always good), dance-off fundraisers, student speakers’ bureau, volunteer activities, etc. It’s nice to have an awareness day, week or month but year round action is supreme.

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