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February 23, 2003

Tips for Promoting a Campus Event

I posted a list of tips for promoting a campus event (in this case, a Libertarian club wanting to promote a speaking appearance of LP presidential candidate Gary Nolan) on the LPCampusActivist e-mail list a couple days ago, and I figured it'd make a good entry for the new "Useful Lance" category.

This isn't everything you can do, but it's plenty. Keep in mind it's written to the leader of a Libertarian Party campus club. You may need to adapt parts of it if your organization leans a different way.

> Hi, Gary Nolan's going to visit Iowa State University next Friday. The
> local Libertarian group hasn't had much time to plan for his visit.
> Suggestions on how to promote his visit would be welcome.
> Thank you.

--Get him booked on any area talk radio stations, and the college radio station, and local & campus cable access stations

--make quarter or eighth-page flyers and hand them out at the beginning of poli-sci, history, communications, and other related classes

--Send a letter out to professors, touting the learning opportunity the event holds for their students and urging that they offer extra credit or assignment credit to students who attend; and/or offer to do a 10-15 min. presentation in their class on libertarianism or the LP on one of the days preceding the event

--set up tables in the campus center or main concourse, with a large, stand-up sign promoting the event

--hand out 1/8 page flyers in areas of heavy foot traffic, or, for extra credit, hand out "Libertarian Viewpoint"s with a flyer for the Nolan event stapled to the front corner, or inserted

--If he'll be there during the day and the event is at night, hold a short, low-maintenance rally (anti-war? pro-civil liberties? anti-Drug War?) during the day on the steps of the student union (or the place where such things occur on your campus). On the low end, you could probably do it with no amplification, or a handheld megaphone or amp system. Your school also probably has the means by which to secure a podium with mike and PA system. Have a couple students, a professor, a veteran (if it's an anti-war rally), a lawyer (if it's civil liberties or the drug war), and Gary Nolan each speak for 5-10 minutes. During the rally, hand out 1/8 pagers promoting the Nolan evening event, as well as mentioning it throughout the rally.
Make big signs on large posterboard or (better) white sheets for the walls or columns behind or beside the "stage" area. One with a libertarian slogan, and one promoting Gary's event, maybe. Plus your group's banner, if you have one.

--Meet with the editor, or editorial staff of the student paper (and local paper), and sell them on the significance of following the LP presidential race-- it looks like it will be a highly-contested race this time, with a few nationally noteworthy competitors. Gary is a nationally recognized figure to an extent-- they should do a pre-story about his appearance, as well as cover it.

--Meet with influential students and administrators-- the dean/chancellor, the heads of frats and sororities, heads of student government and dorm governments, RAs and dorm administrators, with uniquely crafted appeals on why attending the event (and urging the same to their circle of influence) is to their benefit. If any of them give an enthusiastic "Yes! I'll be there, and urge my
friends/colleagues," ask them if you can mention that in your press release, and offer their name to the school paper for a possible quote of support

--Particularly make sure to meet with the heads of any student organizations with close or remote interest in liberty: drug reform groups, college repubs ("economic freedom!"), dems ("civil liberties! No Bush!"), greens ("civil liberties! legalize! no war with Iraq! No Bush!"), economics or history clubs, and so on. Just go through the list of groups and if you see one that we agree with
on one or more points, emphasize that "Gary Nolan agrees with that!"

--Get interviews for you or other club leaders on any broadcast media show that will have you between now and then. Many political radio stations have 10 or more hosts/shows in a given week-- that's ten separate opportunities.

--Poster, poster, poster (with a large, provocative headline and large, clear date/location).
Spontaneous poster idea:

(huge text)

(large text)

(medium-large text)
Then you'll love Gary Nolan.

(medium to regular text)
Come see him speak at -wherewhenwhywhat-

(huge text)

Good luck!

Posted by Lance Brown at February 23, 2003 11:39 PM | TrackBack

Lance...couldn't have said it better myself!

Thanks for using us as a guinea pig on getting involved. Make sure the "Liberty Sucks" poster is as big as the front of your student union!

Steve Ray
Communications Director
Gary Nolan for President

Posted by: Steve Ray at April 1, 2003 10:02 PM
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