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Communications and Marketing

Tips for Publicity and Promotion Success

Plan Ahead
The time to start thinking about an announcement isn’t when you’re ready to make it.  Rather, your planning should begin once you know you have something to promote in the future.  By contacting us sooner rather than later to begin the process, you help us better serve you and all of City College.

Know Your Audience
Who do you want to reach?  Students?  Faculty and staff?  Alumni?  Local community members?  All of the above?  Different audiences require different strategies with different tactics and different messages.  Target only those groups likely to be interested in what you are promoting; then prioritize based on the extent of that interest and the size of the target.  This enables you to direct your effort where it will do the most good.

Have a Realistic Budget
A full-blown marketing campaign may require a financial commitment on your part, especially if printing and mailing or electronic media production are called for.  Keep your investment level in line with what you want to achieve and make sure you have access to the resources you need to get the job done.  You stand a greater chance of succeeding when you can afford to do what needs to be done.

Think Visually
Your message is more than well-chosen and well-organized words.  Powerful visuals, both still and moving, can dramatically enhance your story.  Think about what can be done through photographs, videos, illustrations, charts and graphics to highlight or explain what words alone cannot do.  High-quality images that tell a story and connect emotionally as well as intellectually can help you break through the clutter.

Keep Moving the Ball Forward
A marketing campaign is a journey marked by many steps where progress can get waylaid.  To avoid this, make sure the people developing the campaign have access to the content and other resources they need to do their jobs.  When questions arise, respond quickly to them.  Keep the approval cycle simple; include only those people who need to have input.  Remember, mutual success is based on effective partnership and trust.

Set Achievable Goals
Everyone wants to have a story that makes the front page of The New York Times.  Unless your name is Barack Obama or Michael Bloomberg, it isn’t likely to happen.  Think more in terms of measurable business objectives, e.g. attendance for an event, applications for a new program or wider recognition for one’s expertise.  Achieving goals like these is more important than creating short-lived buzz.

Relate to the Bigger Picture
People are interested first and foremost in what is going on in their lives, .i.e. trends that affect them.  The more your announcement relates to a larger issue that people can identify with, e.g. health, careers, the environment, culture, saving money, the more likely it will be of interest.  If you want someone’s attention, offer solutions, show how things work or explain how developments will impact their future.