Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Putting your event on La Trobe researchers’ radar! (Lise Leitner)

Photo by Hello I'm Nik | unsplash.com
If you are a graduate researcher, organising a university event for the first time can seem intimidating.

Organising something within and for your local research community, however, is a great way to gain leadership experience. You get to meet new and different people in your research discipline, and share knowledge.

That’s what initiatives like the Intellectual Climate Fund are for, so you can create these projects AND get some help and funding along the way!

So, once you’ve got the key event elements locked down, how do you make sure people will actually show up? Where do you go to promote your event?

I get asked these kinds of questions all the time as a communications professional working at La Trobe. Luckily, I can provide you with some tips and answers!


Here are my Top 3 tips for promoting your event:

1. This might seem obvious, but my first tip is to make sure you know who your event is for, before you start promoting it. It’s important have a clear understanding of who your target audience is so you can anticipate their needs and promote your content on channels relevant to them.

For example, is your event only for graduate researchers or academic staff, or a mix of these groups? Is it open to everyone at La Trobe, general public, or more widely in your discipline (and it doesn’t matter which university they’re from)?

2. My second tips is to have an easy-to-use booking tool, like Eventbrite or Eventful. They’re free, can help you keep track of the numbers, and make it easy for guests to RSVP.

3. My third tip is actually a series of ideas on how to get the word out to your La Trobe community!

For all the channels listed below, it’s important that you have the following handy to share information easily:

  • Dates and times
  • Venue 
  • Event title and short blurb (approx 100 words is good – people may need to tweak it to suit their platform or publication)
  • Contact details and name
  • URL where people can register (hopefully, a nicely populated Eventbrite page or similar)

Then, depending on the scope and target audience of your event, here are some of the great ways the University can help to make sure your event gets the exposure it deserves:

  • Graduate Research Scholar is a fortnightly newsletter that goes out to all graduate researchers at La Trobe. It features workshops, special events, resources, training, tips, and news relevant to La Trobe researchers. It is published on alternating Wednesdays and submitting is easy - just email us
  • UniNews is the La Trobe news section published on the intranet. It is visible to all La Trobe staff with intranet access (which includes a lot of people!). You can submit stories of about 450 words maximum via email, about projects you are working on, key information about tasks and processes, good news stories, staff profiles, and most importantly, events!
  • The Arts, Social Sciences, and Commerce (ASSC) College newsletter goes out all college staff once a month. You can submit news items about events, good news stories, or publications, of about 250 words and submissions are due on the 10th of each month via email
  • If your event is open to all students, consider submitting information to several student blogs. There are two College specific blogs for its students (That’s what SHE said and Wise ASSC), and a blog specifically for international students, the La Trobe Times.
  • Depending on the area you are in, there might also be a local newsletters for your department or school. For example, in the Law and Business Schools, staff use the Law and Justice Blog and Business Newsroom to promote news about any staff events, publications, or media appearances. In LIMS, there is a daily newsletter going out to all staff, promoting good news stories and events. Make sure to see if there is a similar newsletter in your school and if so, use it!
  • If your school or department has its own Twitter account, see if you can work with your school’s social media officer to queue up some posts. It’s a great way to let the research community in your discipline know about your event and you might even get some questions or retweets, which will only help you spread the word further.

Now that you have an overview of available internal community channels, get promoting! If you have any questions or bump into obstacles, contact the RED team and we can help you get back on track.

In a future post, I’ll be talking about how to put your event on the radar beyond the University. Stay tuned!

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Lise Leitner is a tech enthusiast and the Senior Research Communications Advisor at La Trobe's Graduate Research School. 

She maintains and produces content for several of the School’s digital channels, including the website, social media and newsletters.

When she is not working at La Trobe, Lise is writing stories or obsessing over the latest release videogames.



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