Planning Your Event

Here are five tips for planning an event to be held at Northern Michigan University:

WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?

Sometimes the date of your event is dictated by factors beyond your control. However, when that is not the case, your first thought should be to try to schedule your event in a way that best accommodates your primary audience. For instance, if Marquette area families are your primary audience, your event should not begin after 7 p.m. or end later than 9 p.m. on a weeknight during the school year.

CHECK CALENDAR FOR COMPETITION.

Once you have a tentative date in mind, check the university master calendar, as other well as area calendars, to see if any other events will compete for your primary audience. We recommend you also check the calendars kept at the Lake Superior Community Partnership and WLUC-TV6.

CONTACT THE APPROPRIATE FACILITIES MANAGER.

Explore your options for event location. If you do not know who is in charge of scheduling a particular venue, call Conference and Catering at 227-2623 and a staff member will provide you with the appropriate contact.

CONTACT COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING.

As soon as you have a tentative date, contact the Communications and Marketing with the details of your event. Please do this in writing via the online information gateway or by e-mail to Cindy Paavola, the director of communications. You may not have all the details in place, but provide what information you can. Knowing about the event before it takes place makes garnering publicity much easier than after it has taken place.

By university policy, Communications and Marketing is the only department that has authorization to write and distribute press releases on behalf of the university. A C&M staff member will work with you to get information about your event out to the media and public. The one exception to this policy is that registered NMU student groups can write their own press releases, if they choose to do so.

By contacting C&M, the event information will be sent to the NMU university calendar, community calendars (including radio and TV calendars), the president's office and added to the press release schedule. It may also be used in the NMU Parent Partnership, NMU Community Connection and What's New @ NMU newsletters, CAMPUS, and Northern Horizons Magazine. All C&M written press releases are posted to the NMU News Bureau Web site, and many of the releases there are then linked to headlines on the NMU home page (www.nmu.edu). Also, all NMU press releases are sent to Archives as permanent record.

C&M does not do is design work (such as posters), but we are willing to assist you in planning and project managing these publications. By university policy, Communications and Marketing is required to review all print and Web publications that represent the university before they are distributed off campus. We also do not pay for advertising that is event or program related unless it is a campus-wide initiative that directly involves recruiting students to NMU or is a sponsored by the President's Division. We can, however, assist you in preparing ads and reserving ad space.

HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER.

The university no longer has a full-time photographer on staff. Departments that wish to have photographs of their events, should consider hiring one of the area's freelance photographers. A list of those who have current contracts with the university can be provided by Communications and Marketing. C&M will not use digital photos taken by NMU students, faculty and staff for press release or publication (print or Web) purposes unless the work meets professional standards. For printed publication, photographs must be shot at 300 dpi. All appropriate photo release forms must be on file. Information about Northern's photography policies can be found at the C&M Web site.