Marketing and promotion

The promotion of your event, exhibition, or business should be part of your planning at an early stage. Start by thinking about who your target audience is and what will draw them in, such as a band, a speaker or a cause. What sort of media will reach this target audience? Is it through a poster in a shop window, a street banner, an email or social media? There are lots of options, so here are some essentials to get you started.

Southwark Presents

Events, exhibitions, performances, fairs and short creative courses taking place in (or near) Southwark can all be included in the Southwark Presents What's On diary. You can submit details of your event here.

The Southwark Presents Twitter account shares details of events and opportunities in the borough. You can tag @southwarkevents in tweets to highlight your event.

There is also a monthly newsletter which goes out to Southwark Presents cardholders and those interested in local events. If you are interested in offering a discount or special offer to Southwark Presents cardholders which will be featured in the newsletters, social media and website then please email culture@southwark.gov.uk.

Southwark Creates newsletter

This monthly newsletter goes out to those working in the local creative sector. If you have a competition, vacancy or creative opportunity which you would like to share through the newsletter then please email culture@southwark.gov.uk.

Online promotion

Whether you use a website or social media sites, keeping them up to date is essential to building an informed and engaged audience.

Using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a great way to promote your event, business or project. Using relevant hashtags and interacting with other people can help your content reach as wide as audience as possible.

These sites can be used in the weeks leading up to an event to generate interest and on the day itself to keep people informed of any last minute changes to the line-up and activities as well as documenting how the success of the event.

Send or upload details about your event or exhibition sites such as Southwark Presents, London SE1, Better Bankside, SE16.com, Team London Bridge, South London Art Map, Art Licks, What’s On In London, All in London and Time Out.

Comments and posts using relevant hashtags by other people can also be a great way of finding out what people want and what they think about your event, project or business. This may help as an extra source of information for your documentation and evaluation.

Information about events

If you are planning an event, ensure that you share the right information to make it as easy as possible for people to access. This should include:

  • name of event
  • date, start and finish time
  • location, including postcode
  • cost - include the ticket price or let people know if it’s free
  • a brief description of the event, including the best and most exciting bits
  • travel information so people know how to get there
  • access information eg, does the event have level access for wheelchair users, a disabled toilet, sign language interpretation, an induction loop, multi-lingual information?
  • further information - include a contact number, email address or website

Community engagement

Reach Southwark residents by joining local community forums or speak to Empowering Communities Programme officers in your area to discuss the best way to reach the local residents in the North West, North East, West Central, East Central and South of the borough

Word of mouth is often said to be the best recommendation so make sure your friends, relatives, neighbours and work colleagues know about your event, business or project and are happy to spread the word.

Advertising

If you are considering advertising you need to decide which media outlet will help you reach your target audience, how much space you’ll have and what the cost will be. Many larger organisations will look to have an advertising campaign, placing adverts in numerous publications over a longer period of time, rather than just placing a one-off advertisement. You will want to think about the advert(s) in conjunction with your other promotions to keep a consistent message for your audience.

Using the media

Getting a story in the newspapers means free publicity. Write and send a press release about your event to the news editor at your local paper or specialist media if you're targeting a particular audience. Outline all the main points happening with your event or promotion. Follow up your release with a telephone call. Local newspapers are always looking for stories about people in their community, having photographs or offering an interesting interview may also help get your story picked up.

You might like to consider contacting the following newspapers and magazines: Time Out, Evening Standard, Southwark News, South London Press, Peckham Peculiar, Dulwich Diverter and Southwark Life.

As well as newspapers you may want to contact local TV or radio stations, such as Reprezent, highlighting what they will be able to film or record.

Posters and flyers

You might want to consider the environmental, as well as monetary cost, of printing and distributing a large number of posters and flyers before you make a decision to print. You may decide that a small number of posters can direct people to more information about your event, business or project online, or you might decide that flyers is the best way to reach your target audience. Think carefully about where they will go and who will deliver them. Local libraries, leisure centres, shops, supermarkets and doctors surgery may have a notice board or display items in their windows.

Flyposting

It is illegal to display advertising material such as posters or placards on buildings and street furniture without authorisation. It is not only unsightly but can also cause a danger to pedestrians and road users.

Temporary street-side banners

For many events this is a really effective way of getting mass promotion at relatively little cost but there are laws which restrict their size, locations and how long they can be displayed for. Southwark has a set of guidelines to make sure that if you wish to advertise local events through the use of banners you can do so without falling foul of the legal constraints in place. These guidelines are only applicable to temporary banners advertising events which are run by, supported by or in partnership with the local authority.

The key facts are:

  • you must have permission from the owner of the site you intend to fix banners to
  • banners should not be more than 1.55 m2 in area (the dimensions can be whatever you need so long as the area is within that amount)
  • banners should not be placed near to road junctions or pedestrian crossings, or on railings on the road edge of pavements
  • the banners can be in place no more than four weeks before the event, and they should be removed as soon as possible after the event
  • the council's events team should be notified of the number and locations of the banners on 020 7525 3422 or events@southwark.gov.uk

Other banners and outdoor advertising will need to follow more formal planning procedures.

For full details on the rules around using street banners, download the full advertising in public spaces guidelines.

Where these guidelines are not followed, it is possible that banners will be removed and that fines may be charged against the organisers.

Training

If you are interested in learning more about marketing and promotion then keep an eye on upcoming courses from organisations such as:

 

Page last updated: 10 December 2021

Looking for advice and guidance?

Southwark Creates / Business Support

A digital portal for you to access information and resources to help your creative business grow and thrive in Southwark.

Find out more

Privacy settings