Decide whether your event is open to Amherst faculty, staff and students; Five College faculty, staff and students; or the general public. Plan your publicity accordingly.
Faculty support for events can be a major contributing factor to success, especially if the goal is expanded learning. Faculty members can announce the event, encourage students to attend and make it part of the class experience or even attend with a group of students. Some faculty members will host the speaker at lunch or be part of small discussion groups before or during the event. Faculty members are also valuable in seeking appropriate destinations for targeted publicity. The professor at Amherst with a specific concentration knows all the other local professors with the same interests and might provide names for e-mail or poster contact.
Standard publicity for college-sponsored events happens through the Office of Communications. High-profile events may warrant news releases. All events should be submitted to the Events Calendar for maximum exposure. The Message Center allows for three submissions (no more than two in one week) and the Daily Mail will deliver information from the Message Center. Posters can be self-designed and delivered to the Office of Administrative Services, which can quickly produce the posters for just under $1 per colored poster. Poster distribution is offered by the Office of Communications; deliver 60 copies to Suite 300, 79 South Pleasant St. at least two weeks in advance of the event, and the communications' office will arrange for distribution on campus. We do not advocate the use of table tents or postcard mailers.
Targeted publicity can be an important way to increase participation. Develop an e-mail spreadsheet with the targeted list and include student or local groups that might have an interest. Professors might be willing to forward or even provide student lists to the organizer for one-time use or give permission to the organizer to approach the Registrar's office for downloads of e-mail lists. Student groups often display the e-mail addresses on their own websites. Write a short, catchy description of the event with an easily understandable title and send it by e-mail a month before the event.Follow it with an e-mail a week before the eventand a third early in the evening the night before the event. Each e-mail should be slightly different, progressively shorter and worded carefully to spark interest.