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Marketing Toolkit

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This tool kit is intended to assist your organization as it launches online programs for your membership or community. The following are guidelines and helpful tips of how to market new programming to your audience to ensure success. Choose what’s right for your organization. If resources are an issue, be sure to focus on the top two or three that will reach your audience on the budget you have available.

 Social Media

Utilize all platforms you have a presence on. If your audience is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, youtube or others, tailor your message to that group. Be sure to use imagery and videos as much as possible to accompany your message. Be sure to link to where the user can find more information.

 

Try to pick 2 or 3 things to highlight each week. The idea being, capture the audience’s attention and then direct them to the page on your website or wherever the programs live.

 

Create a social media calendar or timeline for promotion.

 Newsletters (internal publications)

Articles written in your newsletter to your membership can create buzz about the upcoming new online classes.

 

Placing colourful advertisements or flyers in the publication is always a great way to promote. 

 Email lists

Targeted membership email lists are very helpful when communicating new programs to your membership. Be sure to include imagery where possible, including ads or flyers with more information and direct them to oscc.ca/SASC or your hosting page. 

 Your website

Ensure your website has a dedicated page to the online programs and when possible create a friendly url – for example www.oscc.ca/sasc or www.yourwebsitehere/onlineprograms - make sure it’s easy to remember and use the friendly url wherever you promote the online programs. 

Posting Events/Program promo to external online sites

There are often online community boards/sites where you can post your events/promote upcoming programming: local television, radio or community paper sites for example.

 

When posting  make sure to include the who, what, where, when and how in the information.   
Paid Advertising

If you have budget available, consider placing ads with your local newspaper, radio station, online directories or outlets, social media ads and/or local paid marketing options – billboards, busses, etc. Canada Post also offers direct mail campaigns or flyer drops where you can target your demographic. 

Media Advisories

A “media advisory” is an alert or personal invite for the media to an event, initiative or announcement. The objective is to generate media interest and coverage. If  you are launching new programming in your area, garnering media attention can be beneficial in spreading the word.

Media advisories should be no more than one-page in length and provide logistical details such as:

  • a brief summary of the event/initiative/program/announcement/highlight or feature event
  • a list of dignitaries who will speak with respective titles if needed 
  • time, date and location of the event/announcement’/program
  • contact names for more information

 

Example of a Media Advisory

Your Logo HERE           

 

Media Advisory

Attention: News, Assignment & Photo Editors

For Immediate Release
(insert date)

 

[Insert heading]

[Heading should explain why the story is newsworthy]

 

[Insert a sentence or two about the event (e.g., sign unveiling, special presentation) and list partners if any.]

Dignitaries:

[Insert list of speakers/dignitaries and include titles. Use bullet format] optional

Date & Time:

[Insert the event date and event time]

Location:

[Insert the location, including street address]

[Parking, Directions, etc…]:

[If applicable, include special instructions, such as directions, parking instructions]

 

-  30 -

Contact:  

 

Insert name

Insert name

Insert title

Insert title

Organization

Organization

Phone Number

Phone Number

Email

Email

 Media Releases

A “media release” provides interesting, factual and timely information that promotes an event, program or initiative. The objective is to engage the interest of media resulting in news coverage that communicates accurate information and key messages to the public.

Media releases should be no more than one page in length and be written in plain, everyday language avoiding technical jargon. Answer the “who, what, when, where, why and how” and order the information from most important to least important.

Releases can be issued two ways:

  • To promote and provide information to bring the public to the event/program
    • This would be issued 7-10 ahead of an event
  • To follow up on an advisory highlighting the information from an event/program or reporting on your results.  
    • This is issued the day of the event/program.

 

Example of a Media Release

Your Logo HERE

                   

           Media Release

For Immediate Release
(insert date)

 

 

[Insert heading]

[Heading should sum up the story]

 

OSHAWA – [BODY TEXT: Insert the story highlights here in short paragraphs or bullet format. Order your information from most important to least important. The body must answer the "who, what, when, where, why and how.”]

[KEY MESSAGES: Draft two or three key messages that the you want to convey to the public. Why is this story so important?]

[QUOTES: media releases may include quotes from identified who have been actively engaged in the initiative/project). Quotes should be natural-sounding and describe why the initiative is important to the organization.]

-  30 -

Contact:  

 

Insert name

Insert name

Insert title

Insert title

Organization

Organization

Phone Number

Phone Number

Email

Email

 Helpful Tips

Use Video and graphics

Where possible use video and colour images in social media posts to garner more attention. Always introduce your image or video don’t just rely on it, unless the image is an “ad” or online “flyer” that contains all of the information.  

Readability and Plain Language

Plain language is the use of everyday words to communicate a message to the general public. Here are some tips: 

  • write for the average reader (Grade 7 or 8 level)
  • avoid government and technical jargon
  • include useful headlines
  • use the active voice
  • use short sentences
  • use simple, everyday words
  • use bulleted lists to simplify complex material
Style

All communications should follow the Canadian Press (CP) style to ensure accuracy and consistency.

Some examples of CP guidelines

  • Time should be written as 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Spell out numbers one – ten (1-10), anything above ten is written out numerically
  • There is only one space after the end of a sentence and the beginning of another
  • Stay away from short forms i.e. can’t should be cannot or it’s should be it is
Remember to be accessible! 
  • Ads and corresponding documents should meet AODA compliance where possible.
  • Use fonts 12 point and larger.
  • Consider colour contrast when placing fonts on backgrounds other than white.
  • Avoid scripted font. 
Logo Use

Be sure to represent your organization or that of a partner organization appropriately. Follow and respect guidelines for logo use, don’t change the colours, don’t alter placement or scale, don’t rotate or stretch a logo.

Marketing Photos
Overall, people want to ‘see themselves’ in the advertising and be able to relate to the images. To engage and speck to the target audience, use people LOOKING directly at the camera. (Materials could include print and digital ads, pull-up banners, etc.). Choose your imagery wisely; ensure that your pictures represent diverse communities, and vary the number of people shown in your pictures (i.e. single, couples or groups of people).
Online Programs Page 
When building your online programs page on your own website, we recommend ordering by date and time. See Online Programs page for examples.