There are several ways to get the word out about your program or event. Here are some tips, resources, and processes to help you get started.
Promote your event on Student Life Events and other sites
This is the first and most important step. The UI Events Calendar feeds many other UI websites, including your unit website and Student Life Events. The Division of Student Life uses the Student Life Events to drive email and social media promotion of events there, so it's a good place to be listed.
How to write a good event listing
- Details: event title, event description, location, time, date(s), contact information, admission cost, etc.
- Event description: a complete and compelling event description is crucial to your success.
- Why should someone attend – what will they gain?
- Event descriptions should be comprehensive but to the point
- Formatting should be easy to read -- use bullets.
- Photo: try to use a photo, rather than a design with text, to accompany your event posting. A photo makes your post more accessible, better optimized for search engines, and makes your event posting more compatible with multiple sites where the event is listed. In addition, a photo is more compatible with paid advertising like Facebook or Instagram.
* If you want to use an image with text, use minimal text and repeat the details in the event description -- this will help accessibility, SEO, and general readability.
- Target audience: who do you want to reach - for whom is this relevant?
- Accessibility details: consider going beyond meeting accessibility requirements by adding details that could help those who want to attend.
Social media promotions
- Use photos, rather than images designed with text, to supplement your post. Images and video generally will get more interaction, though sometimes supporting graphics and text are important for getting the message across. Text in photos is not considered accessible unless the same message is presented in the text of the post (or alternative text, as described below).
- Reach out to campus social media managers to ask them to share your post. Many DSL accounts are listed here.
- Add alt text when possible. alt text is hidden text that describes what appears in an image or photo to visually impaired users. Facebook and Instagram support alt text, among others. More about individual platforms and their support for alt text.
- When inviting the audience to an event, use the accessibility statement at the end of your post caption. Do not include this in the image.
First, make sure your event is posted on the Events Calendar and Student Life Events.
- University Housing & Dining email newsletter: news and events sent weekly to students living in the residence halls. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to request to be iincluded.
- UI What's Up: primarily news, sent monthly to all students from the Dean of Students. Write to email@example.com to request to be included.
- Iowa Now: news and events sent weekly to all students. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to request to be included.
Digital signs around campus
Make sure your event promotion is accessible
Accessibility is important. Making your event post accessible will help you reach a wider audience and is mandated by University of Iowa policy. To ensure your event promotion is accessible by students or others with disabilities, follow these initial steps.
- Include the accessibility statement on websites that communicate about the event. The Events Calendar and Student Events Calendar include it by default. Note that you need a name and phone number of someone who will be able to respond and provide an accommodation.
"Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact (insert: the sponsoring department or contact person) in advance at (insert: telephone number)."
- Include the accessibility statement in email promotions. The accessibility statement should be included in the footer of emails that promote events. The statement does not need to be grouped with each event mentioned in an email.
- Learn more about best practices:
Need more help?
Contact the SLC digital team at email@example.com.