Communications and External Affairs

Publicising your events

The first question to answer is  - what do you want the communication to achieve? Do you want to encourage people to attend? Is your aim to raise the profile of your department/unit? Or perhaps you are hoping that your events will enhance the University's reputation and boost recruitment of staff and students?

Most events can be successfully publicised by using a combination of the communications methods below. Some are freely accessible to all, with few restrictions, whereas others are necessarily restricted to particular events. Have a read through the information about each before deciding on what is the right mix of channels for you.

Online events diary

As a member of staff or a student, you can post your event on the University's online events diary, which feeds in to the main pages for staff and for students.

To do this, just log in to Broadcast and choose to add an event.

After filling in the online form, you will need to choose where on the website - called 'channels' - you would like it to be published.

The channels for the pages managed by the Internal Communications team are 'University of Sussex Events Diary', 'University of Sussex staff news and events', and 'University of Sussex student news and events'.

Then you can just choose whichever others you feel are relevant for your event. Make sure that you are selective in the channels you choose, as editors will decline irrelevant or inappropriate postings to their channels.

For more information about the online events diary or the Broadcast news and events system, visit our separate web page about this.

Social media

Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can help you to successfully publicise your events.

Facebook

Facebook enables you to create an event, invite people, and keep track of who says that they will be attending. It is also a useful forum for discussing the event.

Twitter

By using hashtags in Twitter, you can create a conversation around the event. This can be particularly useful during lectures or debates, allowing people to join in remotely.

YouTube

Many event organisers at the University use YouTube videos to trail an event - giving a taster of what will come. Some staff also use videoconferencing software such as Adobe Connect Pro to allow people to remotely watch video, listen to audio and view slides from an event. They can also interact with people at the event.

Find out more about social media at Sussex.

Staff Bulletin internal newsletter

The weekly Staff Bulletin carries information about key events of general interest on campus and (where relevant) in Brighton. Information about these is derived from the University's online diary of events. Instructions on the process involved in mounting your events online are available on these web pages.

Internal newsletters

Departmental and other internal newsletters can be a good way of communicating current events. They are often printed, but can be emailed or online.

You can read more information about internal newsletters on these web pages.

Posters and flyers

Posters can be displayed on school and departmental notice boards - you will need to contact staff in the relevant unit to ask their permission.

The Students' Union manages other noticeboards on campus and also the distribution of flyers.

Visit or web page about posters and flyers to find out more.

Web pages

You may decide that your event needs its own web page, or even a whole website. This can be a useful approach if the event is particularly complex, large-scale or important, and also if it is a series of events.

For more information, visit the Web Team's web pages.

Email

We are authorised to email (on your behalf) large groups of people, e.g. all staff, all students, all finalists, messages of University-wide importance. We do not normally use email to tell people about individual events, as they are too numerous and most often do not meet our strict criteria.

You may, however, target certain individuals or groups with information about events that are relevant to them. Also, you can use mailing lists to communicate with people who have expressed an interest in a certain area.

Read more information about using email.

Digital signs

As a general rule, the digital signs at the campus entrances are not used to promote events.

However, we might make an exception if the event is judged to have a general interest (e.g. open days, student theatre productions, public lectures) or are particularly high-profile or prestigious (e.g. major conferences, events with important guests).

In particular, we wouldn't include information about events that are taking place off campus.

For more information about the signs and the criteria for accessing them, visit the web pages about them.

Press releases and the media

An event in itself, however important, is generally not enough to attract the attention of journalists. In order to gain external media coverage, we will be looking for a 'hook' to generate interest. This might include:

  • a famous speaker or guest
  • an issue or expressed viewpoint that is particularly controversial or relating to something currently in the news
  • an unusual photograph opportunity.

If you think that an external media organisation might be interested in your event, based on the above critera, please contact one of the media relations team.

Other channels of communication

The University's main channels of communication for publicising its events are listed above. However, there are some other options available including non-University channels, as well as Students' Union media outlets.

To see the full list of options, visit our web page about channels of communication.

If your event is particularly large-scale or high-profile, you may want to consider developing a full communications plan.

Help and advice

For more information, contact a member of the team by emailing internalcomms@sussex.ac.uk or calling ext. 8888.