These guidelines are intended to help those organising ASN. The importance of good publicity for each event cannot be underestimated in order to ensure attendance and to keep within budget. While your publicity is for a particular event, please remember that it is also publicising ASN more generally.
ASN events are open to people of any faith and none. Events may be organised in conjunction with another organisation or by ASN members. Either way it is important to consider who your potential participants might be, and to plan well ahead. Don’t hesitate to speak to the chair or secretary at an early stage in planning especially if you aren’t sure about anything.
Generally it’s a good idea to start publicising a date, title and venue around six months ahead via ASN so that people can book it into their dairies. At this stage you will need to start thinking about ways of publicising it nearer the time, and to prepare a booking form with further details that participants may need. A further wave of publicity one or two months ahead works well, with local reminders nearer the date if possible, unless you are already full.
Reminders nearer the time are also useful.
3. Where to publicise
Wherever you think interested people will see it. ASN events are few and far between, and some people are willing to travel up to a couple of hours to attend a one-day workshop, and further for a weekend. Please consider this wide catchment area when planning publicity. This may include: local or regional interfaith networks/groups, local places of worship, local, regional or national newsletters, library, art school or college noticeboards, art galleries, artists materials shops, conferences and other gatherings, etc. Don’t forget your own friends and colleagues if you think they might be interested!
ASN newsletters a re produced on an ad hoc basis, so please liase with the secretary so as to make best use of these. These are circulated by email. The Secretary will also circulate brief details of ASN workshops to one or two email lists, such as the Living Spirituality Network, and pass them to the United Religions Initiative for its website. (Other suggestions welcome!)
A separate flier or leaflet (with reply slip) will usually be needed for each event. This needs to give full information for the workshop (including who to reply to) and some background about ASN (with contact). The secretary can provide past fliers and can advise on layout, etc. and is able to print off a certain number if the organiser cannot do this.
Do plug into existing local networks where you can and interfaith groups and local worshipping groups. You may like to consider a short article in the local or regional press. It is helpful to contact them well in advance (for a monthly magazine , get in touch two months ahead). The secretary can supply photos of previous ASN events and background information on ASN if needed. Please run a draft article past the chair, secretary or other experienced ASN organiser for comment, and let them have a copy of what you send, for the archives.
It is seldom worth paying for advertisements or other publicity, but several publications may accept an article which could publicise the event, or have a free listings. If you incur costs beyond those undertaken by ASN centrally, remember to include those in your finance plan. If you have access to email, this is cheap and very painless. If you plan to send much out by post, this can be costly. But it may be worth it if it brings people in. So be selective.
After the event, it is helpful if someone (a participant or organiser) can write a short note about it, and send it to the secretary for the newsletter and for possible use in future publicity. (This is separate from the feedback forms.) If anyone can take photos we’d welcome them too (make sure participants are happy about this first!).