How To Advertise an Event for Free

The day of the printed flyer is not dead; it’s just been remixed.  Advertising your local event for free just takes a little bit of creative thinking and glad-handing.  Let’s explore three free ways to get your upcoming event to the forefront using the printed flyer, press releases, and local radio stations.

On your computer, print a flyer that includes the what, when, where and why of your event. Copy as many as you think you will need. Take each restaurant and beauty salon in your area a generous handful of flyers and ask if they can be placed somewhere near the entrance or at the hostess stand.  This works so well because people will read just about anything while they are waiting for their food order to arrive or while they are sitting under the dryer.  While this works best with Mom and Pop type operations, even a lot of the chain outlets will allow you this free opportunity.  Just remember to go back and get any advertisements after the event has passed.

Local newspapers always have space for filler and if they receive a press release announcing your event, you can bet it’s going in the filler file with a date tickler.  This does not guarantee your event will get coverage, but the better composed your press release is, the better your chance of grabbing a spot.  Familiarize yourself with your local papers’ deadline dates and dispatch your release so that it is still fresh on their mind at deadline time.  Know who the copy editor is for the section of the paper you are targeting and send it directly to that editor either by e-mail or snail mail. This is an example of how to format your press release:

For inclusion in November 4 issue

Beanville, USA – The citizens of Beanville, USA, are holding a BBQ Fundraiser this Saturday, November 5th from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., to benefit the Beanville Fire Department. The event will be held at 5555 Main Street at The Firehall.  The Firehall is hoping to raise enough funds to purchase …

Local radio stations, especially in smaller communities, often have a spot wherein they announce events happening around the community for free.  This is a situation where a phone call is best. Speak with the on-air person that moderates the show and let him or her know what’s going on.  While they will usually draw the line at a sale your business is having, they often will advertise for free your garage sale, fundraising event, arts and crafts fair, and many other things that are non-commercial in nature.

Extra tip: Use the personal signature option of your e-mail to post the what, when, where and why of your event.


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