To help communicate your department’s events to the appropriate audiences, the Department of Communications and Marketing has created this guide. Keep in mind that promotion is a resource to achieve goals, not a goal in and of itself. Ultimately, you want someone to do something: buy a ticket, attend your event, register for a class, or make a donation. Any communication should have a specific goal in mind.

There are a variety of free tools available at your disposal listed below. Click on a heading to expand for more information on the topic.

Always remember that when marketing your event or program, effective messages focus on benefits, not features. After you answer the Who, What, When and Where, answer the “So What?” or “Why should I care?” question. And research, target and personalize the message to the target audience. Segment your messages as much as possible. Example: your message to alumni would be different than a message to parents of schoolchildren or educators.

Events Calendar

We strongly encourage all employees, groups and departments to use the Events Calendar as a central location for all OTC events. The calendar acts as a hub of information for everything happening across the OTC system, and it is often the Department of Communication and Marketing’s resource for news and events.

Bookmark this page so you can easily submit events to the calendar.

Please be advised that calendar submissions with very little information will not be approved and you will be asked to resubmit with more details. Remember, you need to include as many details as possible to motivate people to attend. To provide the best communication about your event, observe the following:

  • Use proper spelling and grammar with complete sentences, and consult the OTC Style Guide when writing your text.
  • Use the Event Description to entice people to come to your event. Give details about what is happening and why people should attend. For example, don’t just tell us there’s a picnic. Instead, tell us what’s happening at the picnic that would make someone interested in going.
  • Do not write in all caps.
  • Upload a photo or graphic.
  • Input the date of the event, not the date you’re submitting it to the calendar.
  • Include a web link, even if it’s just to your department, or a news story or news release.

(Audiences: students, faculty, staff, alumni, general public, because the calendar is accessible from the web and there is a mobile version)

OTC Website

OTC Press gives you the ability to edit your section of the website, including the option to add new information, photos and videos. Please make sure your events are prominent on your page, that dates and times are correct and that contact information is available.

If you need assistance with OTC Press, please email George Lamelza at lamelzag@otc.edu to inquire about upcoming OTC Press trainings.

(Audiences: students, faculty, staff, alumni, general public)

Social Media

If you would like your event or news to be communicated via OTC’s official Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts, contact Coordinator of Public Information Laura French at frenchl@otc.edu or 447-2659. She will determine which, if any, social media channels are appropriate for your event or news.

If you wish to create a social media account for a unit or department of the college, please review the social media guidelines here, then contact Laura French.

(Audiences: more than 14,100 “likes” on Facebook, more than 5,500 followers on Twitter, more than 1400 followers on Instagram, and about 250 followers on Snapchat. These figures include a large number of students and alumni, media members, faculty, staff and the general public.)

OTC Buzz

These bi-weekly upcoming event flyers are posted all over the Springfield campus. Only events that have been submitted to the Events Calendar will be considered for printing, as that is where items are pulled to populate The Buzz.

(Audiences: students, faculty, staff)

Online Media Calendars

There are several free online community calendars that you can use to publicize your event. Oftentimes, media use these calendars to populate their print and broadcast calendars.

Below are links to the outlets that feature free online calendars. When you go to each site, you’ll be asked to set up a new account. This process takes just a few minutes and it’s free.

(Audience: general public)

Email

Many of you already send out invitations to faculty and staff to attend your department’s events with personal emails. Continue those efforts. Also, if you have email addresses for people who have attended your events in the past, invite them again. If you don’t have a database, begin collecting those email addresses and leverage that resource to drive attendance at future events.

If you would like an email to be forwarded to all students (otcs@otc.edu) or employees (otce@otc.edu,) it must meet specific criteria. Contact Coordinator of Media Relations Steve Koehler at koehlers@otc.edu or 447-2666 and he will advise you.

If you would like to have an interactive html email designed and distributed for you, please fill out the Service Request form and a representative from the Communications and Marketing team will advise you, but you must give ample lead time as these emails take time and skill to create.

(Audiences: students, faculty, staff, people who have previously attended your events)

Alumni

The OTC Foundation sends out a monthly newsletter to alumni that includes news, success stories, and upcoming events. Contact them at alumni@otc.edu to have your event considered for placement in this electronic newsletter.

(Audience: alumni)

Employee Newsletter

If you want to get your news, announcement, event, photos or congratulations in front of  all OTC employees, the monthly employee newsletter is an option. It is sent to all faculty and staff, full time and part time, on the second week of each month. For consideration, please contact Operations Specialist Sarah Bargo at bargos@otc.edu or 447-2654.

(Audience: faculty and staff)

Creative Services Request

One function of OTC’s Communications and Marketing department is to assist faculty and staff with communicating and marketing their departmental events and programs. To request assistance, fill out this form. Requests are evaluated weekly after all pertinent information, content and materials are received.

If we are able to fulfill your request, the Communications and Marketing team will develop a plan to best accomplish your objectives. Someone from the department will contact you regarding your project. Some requests may require further consultation.

(Audiences: students, faculty and staff)

Info Channel

There are monitors throughout OTC’s campuses and centers that project information about upcoming events, registration deadlines, etc. To get in the rotation, submit complete information about the event, graphics, and dates when it should be broadcast to Operations Specialist Sarah Bargo at bargos@otc.edu for consideration. She will forward any relevant information to the appropriate campus(es) and center(s).

(Audiences: students, faculty and staff.)

News Release

“News is whatever the gatekeepers (editors, radio and television producers) say it is.” By that definition, few events do not rise to the level of a news release. However, in some cases, an event does have newsworthiness beyond the fact that it is merely occurring. If you think your event is newsworthy, please contact us for news release consideration, to strategize how to obtain news coverage, and then how to leverage that media coverage to the benefit of your event or department. Email communications@otc.edu.

(Audiences: media, general public, )

“News is whatever the gatekeepers (editors, radio and television producers) say it is.” By that definition, few events do not rise to the level of a news release. However, in some cases, an event does have newsworthiness beyond the fact that it is merely occurring. If you think your event is newsworthy, please contact us for news release consideration, to strategize how to obtain news coverage, and then how to leverage that media coverage to the benefit of your event or department. Email communications@otc.edu.

(Audiences: media, general public, )