Clubs and Organizations

Successful Strategies in Advertising

Word-of-mouth by club members

Who else would be better at spreading the word about your club’s events and projects than the people who have dedicated their time and effort to the cause? Your club members can become beacons for your club within their own social groups, clueing friends in on upcoming club events and inviting them to the party. This style of advertising is close and personal and has a big effect simply because people trust the source – their buddies! What’s more, people are more apt to attend events with someone they know.

Additionally, you can ask your members to bring up the program in their classes. Often times if you ask your professor before hand, she or he will agree to give you a minute at the beginning or end of the class, and perhaps even to pass out fliers. Persuade folks by sharing personal club experiences, letting peers know why you are passionate about your club’s goals, and how fun the event will be.

Advertising in the Daily Flyer

Advertising in the daily flyer is easy and very effective.  All one need do is to visit the Impact website and submit a form for the appropriate size advertisement and submit it to the impact office in the lower level of the UC.  For a small fee they can even design it for you.

Tabling

Another form of face-to-face advertising is tabling. Tabling allows you to talk to others about your club or event while having your paper resources close to you i.e. on the table. Tabling is a good way of introducing your club to the public, raffling, letting others know of an upcoming event, and holding a petition signing, just to name a few ideas. Engaging in conversation and making eye contact are two key actions to remember when tabling. For more tips, check out “Successful Strategies – Tabling Tips.”

Small giveaways with event “tag”

Whether you are tabling, at an event, or advertising for an upcoming event, handing out giveaways that remind folks of your club or the event is a definite plus. Items that bear your club name or logo such as T-shirts, stickers, bracelets, pins, or goody bags act as friendly mementos that promote your club once a club event or project has finished.  Giveaways do not have to be expensive. Putting some creativity and thoughtfulness into your giveaways will advance the message of your club further than a costly, yet generic party favor.

Advertise in residence halls

Post flyers on the Residence Hall bulletin boards after getting approval for posting from the Residential Life office. You can place flyers in Residence Hall mailboxes or restrooms with approval by the Residence Hall Director (RD) of that particular Residence Hall.

Room-to-room contact can be done for purposes of program promotion or election campaigning. This includes placing promotional materials under the doors of individual residents. This advertisement method is subject to the approval of the Residential Life Office (who will consult with both Residence Hall Association and the Resident Directors).

Posters

The Clubs & Orgs Office (UC 135) provides butcher paper available in a variety of colors including black, yellow, green, purple, turquoise, pink, and orange.  Students can use these paper for free, along with other art supplies inside the Clubs & Orgs Office such as poster paint, construction paper, brushes, glue, color chalk, tape, and color pencils.

A poster should have these essentials:
  • Big lettering
  • Color
  • Some graphic
  • Event name, date & time, place (building, specific spot on campus).
  • Name(s) of the sponsoring group(s)
Make sure to get an approval stamp from the Student Involvement & Leadership (SIL) front desk located on the lower level of the UC before you post you posters up in buildings. You are not allowed to stick advertisements on trees, shrubbery, light standards, benches, sculptures, signs, vehicles, trash receptacles, fire hydrants, flag poles, or exteriors of buildings on PLU campus. Once your event has passed, be courteous to other clubs and help maintain the aesthetic of PLU by promptly removing your posters and recycling them.

Chalking

Colored chalks are available in the Clubs & Orgs Office (UC 135). You must get the exact wording of what you intend to chalk approved by the Student Involvement & Leadership (SIL) Office located on the lower level of the UC before your begin chalking. All chalk advertising must be erased within 24 hours, by 8am the next morning.

Email press release/invitation

Crafting an e-mail that will be read by the receivers can be a challenge.  You want to make your e-mail informative, simple, and easily understood. Have a subject title heading that gets to the point, perhaps introduced by terms like “INVITATION” or “UPCOMING EVENT” before giving specifics. For example, “INVITATION: Fundraiser BBQ next Friday! Eat ‘n help raise $$$ for local kids,” lets your reader know what’s happening and what actions they can take.  The e-mail body text should again have a big title that perhaps goes into more detail about your event and RSVP contact info on the line immediately following. Use a couple lines of text afterwards to tell why your club is doing this event and why people should come. Just remember to always put the important information first. If relevant, end your message with the EVENT NAME, DATE, TIME, & PLACE in list form, RSVP contact info and RSVP deadline.

Keep in mind the different methods people use to check e-mail. Not everyone will have Garamond Font! Lucida Handwriting is hard to read—shocking! Too many changes in font, size, and color can quickly turn off even the most willing mail checker. Be alert to formatting pitfalls that could otherwise botch a well-written e-mail. Stick with a basic, easy-to-read font, and a dark font color. You can certainly use a different font size for headings vs. body text. Just don’t go overboard like this: “This week, we will be having an awesome BBQ, so come on down and JOIN US!!!!!! [insert random emoticon]” Annoying, isn’t it?

When you’re finally ready to send out the e-mail to the 120 people on your club e-mail list, enter one e-mail address into the “TO:” slot and then place the other 119 e-mail addresses into the “BCC:” slot. “BCC:” stands for back-copy, which allows you to send one e-mail out to hundreds of folks without any of them seeing the hundreds of other e-mail addresses. This keeps the contact more personal. Make your reader feel like he or she is one of a kind not one among a million.

Facebook

The Facebook “Events” Application lets you create an event and send out invitations to your Facebook friends. If you have created a Facebook Group for your club, you can send out invitation to members who have joined your Facebook Group by clicking on your Group’s link from your Facebook Profile. Once you are at your Facebook Group’s site, click on the “Create Related Event” link to start an event, customize it, and pick the guest list.

A word of caution: Facebook, like other forms of digital media, creates an oxymoronic relationships among its users, connecting them at the same time that it widens the space between you and your audience. While a Facebook invitation does give an instant on-line shout out about your event to many Facebookers, it is easily ignored and will not carry much impact flying solo. Fortify your event promotion with other advertising methods and use the Facebook invitation as that gentle reminder to folks about what your club is up to.

The Daily Flyer

The Daily Flyer is a student run flyer issue that is distributed in the UC each morning of the regular school year (summer excluded). The fun folks at IMPACT handle advertising in the Daily Flyer and provide space for ads ranging in the following sizes: 1/6 Daily Flyer page, 1/3 Daily Flyer page, 2/3 Daily Flyer page, or full page Daily Flyer page.  You can pick up paper copies available in front of the IMPACT office (UC 142) or print out Daily Flyer ad printing request forms & find pricing at: http://www.plu.edu/impact.

Since the Daily Flyer is printed in grayscale, achieve better Flyer advertising outcomes by designing your ads in black and white or grayscale rather than in color. It’s not fun seeing your bright, multi-hued club logo morph into a massive gray blob on your ad thanks to the printing process’s haphazard switch to grayscale. If you have already designed a color ad, print it out in grayscale first to see if it’s worth the price your club has to pay for some real estate in the Daily Flyer.

Seeking IMPACT

IMPACT is the on-campus creative advertising & design office (UC 142). IMPACT artists can be very useful collaborators for club promotion because they have experience in developing advertising media targeted towards the PLU crowd. Does your club or event revolve around a theme or idea? Bring it to IMPACT and work with one of its team members to create a logo, poster, or even T-shirt design around it.

The list of services offered by IMPACT, as stated by its website (http://www.plu.edu/impact):

  • posters
  • flyers
  • The Daily Flyer
  • poster & flyer distribution
  • quick copying
  • programs
  • table tents
  • t-shirt design
  • logos
  • business cards
  • organization branding
  • web design
  • tickets
  • banners
  • brochures
  • anything else that can be printed or printed on

You can check out IMPACT poster & print pricing on its website. Have questions? Give them a call at 253-535-7479 or e-mail impact@plu.edu.

Faculty & staff support

It’s always nice to have your club advisor and other professors who are interested in your club’s project advertise through class announcements. Alternatively, you could ask them to send out an e-mail announcement about your club event if they need to prioritize class time for other things—like ya know, teaching. In either case, before you approach them, craft a script for the announcement or an e-mail release, so that your professors can readily forward the message by mouth or mouse to your classmates. This ensures that your message will get passed forward the way you want it to, along with the boost of your professor’s support.

Also consider having a professor be part of your event. This would certainly encourage your professor to advertise for the event a bit more. Seriously though, having a professor or PLU staff member on board for a discussion on healthcare or a panel about cultural diversity can be a big plus. They lend credibility to your event and can enrich the conversation with their background knowledge, personal experience and perspective.