Ideal planning period: 3 weeks through the day before
- Get a weather report if your event is outdoors. Make the call as to whether or not you're going to enact your rain backup plan.
- Plan for a press sign-in table, where you'll give reporters a news release and media kit as they arrive at the event.
MEDIA & PROMOTION
- Distribute a media alert telling reporters about the event.
- Pitch local media on attending the event.
- Fax or email your news release to your media list on the day of the event.
- Assign someone on your team to record any television or radio news broadcasts covering your event.
- Assemble components of a media kit for distribution at the event. The kit should include:
- A fact sheet and/or other promotional materials about your program, including information on how to enroll students
- A fact sheet about Lights On Afterschool and the state of afterschool
- Your news release about the event
- A copy of any proclamations from the governor, mayor, council or school board
- Copies of prepared remarks by your speakers
- A list of upcoming afterschool events
- Letters from parents, volunteers or students describing why they support the program
- Advanced outreach: Submit a column to the major local newspaper or to several community papers.
- Advanced outreach: Draft and send unique letters to the editors of local newspapers promoting the event.
- Update your RSVP list daily leading up to the event.
- Reconfirm attendance by policymakers and other key speakers. Share the program agenda with speakers and offer to provide talking points.
- Send out your invitations.
- Call to confirm VIP guests.
- Update the RSVP list daily leading up to the event.
- Update the agenda as you confirm speakers, VIPs, guests and activities.
- Copy the afterschool petition for attendees to fill out.
- Print out light bulb art for guests and students to decorate.
- Print out event programs or agendas, informational materials about your program, and fact sheets about your program and afterschool in general for distribution to attendees as they arrive at your event.