More often than not, I receive emails with “We have this great event. Please share with your audience on social” and it has a tabloid-sized PDF attached with a link to a website. Not ideal. Not helpful.

If you want your colleagues to help spread the word about your event/initiative, please consider the following four points:

1) Have a plan.

  • When working on your event, how you’ll promote it should be part of that plan. This includes considering what relevant departments/Faculties may be able to help you with your promotion: create a list and find out who the correct contact is for each area.
  • Avoid the desperate call for help the day before the event when ticket sales are low to send a ‘request’ out to colleagues to help you out. Instead, it should be part of your plan to approach departments/Faculties well in advance.

2) Ask, don’t demand.

  • Contact your colleagues and ask if they would be able to share your message through their channels rather than saying “send this to your audience.”
  • When asking, be sure to include how this event is relevant to their audience. If they can see the relevance, they’ll likely be willing to help you out.

3) Make the message easy to share.

  • If you would like them to be shared via social, provide some appropriately sized images (relevant to each social platform) and some suggested Facebook posts and tweets.
  • Create suggested Facebook posts and tweets that are easy to copy and paste. Remember these posts should not be written from your voice as they won’t be coming from your channels.
  • Keep these suggested posts short and to the point.
  • Include a link.

4) Follow up with a thank you.

  • Send a quick ‘thank you’ to those people who helped to spread the word. This could be in the form of a short email or even an acknowledgment via social. E.g. “Thanks to @thisawesomedepartment and @thisotherawesomedepartment for your support with our event.”

If you want help sharing your message with other audiences within your University, you need to make it relevant and easy to share. Just think what would be easy for you to share if you were asked to help!