Event promotion is tricky. Should you send PDF event flyers to everyone you know?

Should I send PDF event flyers to people so they’ll include it in their enews?

The real issue: you’re trying to drive turnout for an event by asking fellow organizations to share it with their lists.

For heaven’s sake, NO.

I’ve worked for nonprofits who share this kind of information, and it is a PAIN to have to download those flyers, and condense and re-type that information for their newsletters. If you want other organizations to help you promote your event, do three things:

  • Promote their events. If you’re asking them to do something for you that you won’t do for them, you’re a jerk.
  • Consider partnership areas. Do this first when you’re starting to plan an event—maybe there are obvious co-sponsors who share your interest (people are far more likely to help when they have a stake in what’s going on). Then do it again when you’re promoting the event; why would an animal shelter want to share your fundraiser for your community college? Don’t waste the time of organizations that you don’t think will be interested.
  • When you do send event information, include a 2-3 sentence summary of the key info in the body of your e-mail. That way, if they don’t want to forward on your PDF, they can easily copy and paste what you want people to know, in your own language.