Skip to main content

Publicity for CSI

Publicity is one of the most important components of being a successful student organization outside of hosting regular meetings and continuous recruitment of members. Publicity varies from print to digital to word of mouth to anything else you can think of. How well you publicize your organization and its activities will determine how successful your organization will be. 

Some things to keep in mind with publicity: 

  • Mix it up – Use multiple methods of publicity to get your message across.
  • Give it time – Advertise well in advance and space out the different types of advertising you utilize to make it the most effective.
  • Know your audience – Advertise to the people you want to bring in, where you are most likely to find them.
  • Think outside of the box – How often do you notice an 8 1/2” x 11” poster on plain, white paper? Make your publicity stand out from the rest. It may take longer to make, but eye-catching advertisements will pay for themselves.
  • All publicity must be approved by the Center for Student Involvement.
  • If you want to use Document Services to create or print your promotional materials, please make sure to do so well in advance. Visit with the CSI staff to get started. 

Plenty of ideas can be found on the following pages, but if you are ever stuck for ideas on how to promote your organization and its activities, please see the Manager of Student Life and Leadership Development. 

What is publicity? publicity-for-csi

1: the quality or state of being public.
2 a: an act or device designed to attract public interest; specifically: information with news value issued as a means of gaining public attention or support b: the dissemination of information or promotional material c: paid advertising d: public attention or acclaim.
Related Words: ad, advertisement, commercial, message, plug, promotion, spot, word; banner, bill, billboard, placard, poster, sign; advertising, marketing, propaganda; pronouncement, publication, release; broadcast, bulletin, dispatch, newscast, report, story; testimonial, write-up. 

A Few Hints: 

  • You can never do too much to publicize your event.
  • Always take into consideration your intended audience. Where are they going to see your publicity? How can you reach them other than flyers?
  • Sit down and brainstorm about how you think you can reach students. What things do you personally pay attention to on campus? What things do you ignore?
  • Make a plan of attack for your publicity. A good round of publicity will use at LEAST two ways to reach the intended audience.
  • What ways can you publicize?

- Flyers on bulletin boards.
- What ways can you publicize?
- Other bulletin board decorations.
- Write on dry-erase boards (the CSI has a few you can check out)
- Newsletter-style advertising.
- Wear buttons. Make extras to hand out to students.
- Word of mouth – tell your friends, talk to students as you walk through the campus, ask them to pass it on.
- Give out handbills.
- Put table tents up in the Commons.
- Hang a banner in the Commons.
- Leave flyers in the Center for Student Involvement
- BE EXCITED ABOUT YOUR PROGRAM! Excitement is infectious. If you are excited and invested in what you are doing, other people will be also.

Some basic tips for planning your publicity:  

  • Bigger is better…this may not always be true, but keep in mind that, if something is abnormally large for its location, people will be more likely to look at it.
  • Color is better than black and white. Find a way to add color to your flyers or banners.
  • Use flyers sparingly – everyone uses flyers, and yours can easily disappear in the crowd. If you do use a flyer, make it visually different than the other flyers it will be hanging by.
  • Three dimensions are better than two.
  • Location, location, location!
  • Advertise in advance! Two (or more) rounds of publicity is the best way to go!
  • Advertise in the Commons.
  • Pay attention to wording, spelling, etc.
  • Use a readable font!
  • Catchy titles!
  • Keep it short – too many words won’t be read.
  • Use good headlines – most people won’t get past that point!

Publicity Ideas – Standard and…watch out, a few creative ones too! 

  • Email
  • Send an e-vite
  • Facebook invitations
  • Use unusual types of paper (toilet paper, paper towels, wrapping paper, tissue paper, newspaper, tracing paper, overhead sheets)
  • Hand-written invitations
  • Post-it notes
  • Pictures of students in flyers (with their approval)
  • Progressive signs – make it cryptic and add information to it every day
  • Reminders on dry-erase boards
  • Fold/cut paper into new shapes – triangle, circle, parallelogram
  • Use props related to the activity (i.e. plastic spoons for an ice cream social)
  • Make a collage using magazines and newspapers
  • Decorate your organization’s bin with information, themed decorations, etc.
  • Spell it out with pennies, buttons, popcorn kernels, etc.
  • Make a “lift me” flap and put information underneath
  • T-shirts
  • Create a fictional character to advertise all of your events – for example, name him Bob and use him in all your publicity; another example would be giving an inanimate object a personality and using it to advertise; use the JCCC mascot Jean Claude
  • Use black paper and gel pens
  • Create a calendar to post all events
  • Use candy to advertise – attach mailing label to it with event information
  • Use balloons
  • Hand out personal invitations to people while using a table in the Commons
  • Use an itty-bitty font on a huge piece of paper
  • Cut up other people’s old flyers and use them as a border for yours
  • Put notes in mailboxes of staff who may be interested in your event
  • Print labels and stick advertising to them
  • Create magnets – get old business magnets and glue your advertisement to the front and pass out to students
  • Use playing cards
  • Use paper plates or cups