How to Spread the Word
If you're holding a public National Costume DayTM swap, you'll want to get the word out. Of course there are dozens of ways to do this and you probably know what might work best for you in your local area. But if you don't, this sheet is meant to help you out. Choose do take whatever actions you like. Don't make yourself crazy, but try to reach as much local media as you can. Start early and get help. Ask someone to volunteer to take on the PR role. And don't forget to register your swap so we have the potential to include you in any national PR for National Costume Swap Day. Also, check to see if there is a public Green Halloween® event planned in your city. You might want to collaborate with whomever is heading up that initiative. Here are some ideas to get you started. If you have others, please post on our Facebook page.
PRINT, TV, RADIO
- Write a simple press release. Start with a "hook," a sentence that will make people want to read on. Then add the date, time, place and swapping details as well as who to contact and how. (Here are some sample releases to check out.) Check with the outlet to see whether they like to receive this information by email or via regular mail. Warning: Before you send out any information on your event, check and re-check for typos.
- If you're collaborating with or raising money for a non-profit, ask what kind of PR they will be doing and work with them to get your event included.
- Get your swap listed in local magazine, newspaper and online calendars. Remember some magazines have very long lead times.
- Your local TV station might be very interested in covering your swap because it involves kids and action and will be something new and different prior to Halloween. Call your local stations directly and ask! If they covered your event last year, you'll probably need a new angle. Maybe you're moving to a bigger venue or have a local "celebrity mom" participating?
Or submit a brief release, then follow up with a phone call. Also call the news desk on the day of the swap to remind them. (Be sure to follow up with a thank you note for any coverage you receive.)
- Many local newspapers and magazines have online sites and you might be able to get a writer to write a story on the swap if you approach them.
- If you have local sponsors, be sure to enlist their help in publicizing the swap. (Social media is great for this.)
- Don't forget about radio, especially the local NPR station. They might be interested at least in adding your event to their community calendar.
- Print out this sign (on recycled paper please) to use as an ad or flyer. Add your event's information in the blank space.
- For more PR ideas, you are free to check out and use the Green Halloween® PR/Media Toolkit (pdf)
- Of course you'll be letting people know about your swap via your own Facebook page and Twitter feeds. But remember to follow local news media where you may be able to slip in tweets and posts about your event.
- Invite your followers to participate in the National Costume Swap Day Twitter party on Tuesday, September 27, 9 p.m. EST #CostumeSwap
- Participate via the National Costume Swap Facebook page /CostumeSwapDay and Twitter @CostumeSwapDay as well as on /GreenHalloween @GreenHalloween and /CelebrateGreen and @CelebrateGreen. Additionally, check out the social media pages of Swap.com and KIWI magazine. All of these will give your event additional exposure to our audiences.
- Host a twitter party of your own, under the name of your swap. (Not in competition with the one on September 27 please.)
- Post introductory videos of your swap before it happens and some from the big day and link via Facebook and twitter to the National Costume Swap accounts. If you send your videos to us, we also may post on our National Costume Swap Day YouTube account. NOTE: Be sure you have permission to use photos and videos online, especially when children's faces are visible. Also, please be sure to use the TM sign after “National Costume Swap Day” and “Costume Swap Day” the first time it is used on a page (in print or online).