You might be able to convince media outlets to be a media sponsor for your event. Under this arrangement, you might get free advertising in exchange for promoting the sponsor at your event.
This is the ninth of 11 Creative Ideas for Event Marketing, a free eBook.
Here’s how it works. Contact the marketing or promotions director of your local newspaper, radio station, or television station that best reaches your target market. Draw up a “media sponsor agreement” which outlines the benefit to the media sponsor and the requested number of advertisements you are asking for. Be willing to negotiate on this, as the cost of advertising may vary. Even a little free advertising is better than none.
Offer to put the media outlet’s logo on all your event material and advertisements. Also, offer to provide mention, signage, and a marketing table at your event for the station or publication.
Many television stations will consider a request for a live appearance by a news anchor at your event. Although this doesn’t guarantee you free advertising, the news anchor will often mention that they will be attending your event during one of the newscasts leading up to it.
Check into PSAs
If your event is benefitting a non-profit organization, you can often receive free traditional advertising through public service announcements. Radio and television stations are required by the FCC to air a certain number of PSAs per year. If you talk to them about your event, they may offer to run a few ads promoting the event as PSAs (which means there is no charge to you).