You’re Invited! How to Market an Event in a University Newspaper

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University newspapers can be a great tool for promoting an event – whether on- or off-campus. Lots of people read them, including people not directly affiliated with the campuses where they originate. Plus, they not only have a focused audience but usually have a focused geographic area as well.

A study a few years ago found that 72-80% of college students are regular readers of their college papers. However, it can be challenging to get these readers of these newspapers to actually attend many types of events.

College students – as well as faculty – tend to keep long hours with schoolwork and other activities, especially during the second half of the semester and are selective about the events they attend.

This article will cover some strategies for engaging these potential attendees and others as well. It should give you some ideas for how to market an event generally and through university newspapers specifically.

How to Market an Event Successfully Through a University Newspaper

Take advantage of online attributes.

Nearly all of today’s university newspapers have an online presence; for many, this is the only way they’re distributed. So you should carefully select keywords and links to use in the promotional piece. Be sure to have some illustrations, as well.

Reinforce your message using different outlets.

Redundancy of message is pretty much always good. Here are some promotion ideas for how to promote an event that you might consider:

  • Getting a spot on the campus radio station and having someone with knowledge of the event hype it.
  • Having posters placed in eye-catching locations around campus. Often times, you can enlist some help with this from the student activities office.
  • Having professors in fields related to the event endorse it in their classes (maybe even offering some extra credit) can do a lot for your promotional campaign!

So go ahead and integrate your marketing communication!

Enlist more than one newspaper to promote your event.

Also, consider event promotion through more than one university newspaper wherever possible. A good-sized metropolitan area might have dozens of colleges and universities, each with its own newspaper.

With advertising being so affordable in university newspapers, you should be able to buy space in several.

Refreshments, refreshments, refreshments!

Make it known that food will be served at the event. Consider asking a relevant student organization to co-sponsor the event by paying for the refreshments. The organization often can help with extra publicity, too.

Did someone say, PARTY?

And speaking of refreshments… is the event you’re promoting a party? Maybe Cinco de Mayo? To celebrate the winter holidays? Or just to lift people’s spirits?

Everyone loves a party, especially college students! And most students have some ideas about how to promote a party. It’s usually by word of mouth, maybe with some posters as well.

Something different: a formal invitation

Maybe you should try something different and unexpected next time, though. Here’s a cool marketing idea: how about publishing a formal invitation to your party in the university newspaper? There is nothing like an actual invitation to draw interest to your event (especially if it mentions refreshments).

Come to Our Event!

Whether your event is a guest lecture, performance, or party, I hope the ideas discussed above on how to market an event will be helpful to you.

Some people say that newspapers are a relic of the past. But they don’t seem to be disappearing from college campuses anytime soon.

Why not try adding some 21st-century “magic” to what they already offer?

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