Promoting Your Event Near Cortland, NY
I'll start with a description of what I have been doing to promote events that are part of the Classical Music Festival Series. If you have additional advise or corrections to what I've written, pass it on to me using the Contact Form and I will make changes to the list.
~1 Month Before the Event
- Get the event listed on National Public Radio station Arts Calendars at
Beforehand, you should write a short description of the event as you would like it to appear. This should be a short paragraph for the event and a second paragraph to acknowledge financial support. Save your description in a text file so that you can easily copy and paste the text into the form that is provided on each PBS website.
You should also be prepared with a photo or graphic, about 120pixels wide.
You should have a website or a phone number where people can go to get more information.
Get the event listed on local Web Calendars:
- Cortland Connection Calendar and City of Cortland Calendar using their online form
- CortlandEvents.Com : firstname.lastname@example.org
- CortlandMusic.Org : email@example.com
You should have a website or telephone number where people can go to get more information.
3 Weeks Before the Event (or more)
- Make Posters
The cheapest to make are simple text.
Full color is more expensive but attracts more attention. Be sure to keep the text clearly visible. In either case, include all the essential information: What, where, when and cost.
Check around for prices. Hint: the duplication department at TC3 is a pretty good deal. Full color copies are 50cents (or less) each for 8.5x11 or 11x17 on hard paper. (!)
2 or 3 WeekENDs Before the Event
- Put up Posters
Around Cortland, Homer, Dryden and other areas if you can. It takes a while to find out who will or will not accept posters. Most businesses in Cortland will, especially downtown businesses for a downtown event. I avoid the BIG stores, because the bulletin boards are crowded and people don't look at them. Windows and doors of convenience stores are a good bet, although some chains don't permit putting them up. I also like laudromats and smaller grocery stores. Basically, anywhere you think they might be seen.
ALWAYS ASK BEFORE PUTTING UP POSTERS. Especially the first time you're doing it. After your face becomes familiar, you can probably put posters up on community bulletin boards without asking. But always ask for anything that goes on a window. Some store owners prefer to do it themselves.
2 WeekENDs Before the Event
- Write a Press Release. The first paragraph should contain all of the essential information. You should assume that the average reader will read ONLY the first paragraph (or even only the first sentence). Don't expect people to find, for example, the TIME that the event will take place elsewhere in the article. The rest of the article should say something about the performers and about the (e.g.) music that will be performed. Don't forget to acknowledge a funding source if there is one. Also, give a website, contact phone number and email address if they are available.
Send out the press release by email. You can include a photo or two. Papers prefer higher resolution photos of 1Megabyte or more.
Here are some PRESS email addresses:
- Cortland Standard, Living and Leisure: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cortland Area Tribune: email@example.com
- Dragon Chronicle (SUNY): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Scotsman Press: email@example.com
Send a notice to print calendars. This should be one or two sentences and will probably be edited further. Example:
"3PM March 30, Piano Concert at Center for the Arts, Homer. Free Admission. Info contact Jim at XXX-XXXX".
Some PRESS CALENDAR email addresses
- Ithaca Ticket: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ithaca Times: email@example.com ( include "Calendar Listing" in the subject line )
- Scotsman Press (web form): www.scotsmanonline.com
- Syracuse Post Standard: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get notice on Cable Community Bulletin Board Time Warner Cable on Tompkins Street, Cortland. They have a form that you can fill out or email email@example.com
4pm March 30
Center for the Arts, Homer
1 Week Before the Event
- Send Email reminders to people who have shown an interest in the past. If you don't have such a list, make an email sign up sheet and gather information at your next event (I need to do this myself).
- Finalize the Event Program and program notes. Be sure to include acknowledgements for funding sources.