USSU has over 80 societies and sports teams so there is a lot of communication that comes out just from Student Opportunities. You’ll want to try and cut through this noise with some considered planning and deliberate messaging. There's lots of ways for you to promote your society, and the Union's Opportunities and Communications teams are here to help. Below are some resources and tips to give you a head start!.
- Basic communications concepts:
Who, What, Where, Why, and How? Talk about these as a group when planning your ideas and the associated marketing. They’ll set your direction.
When it’s time to communicate with your audience, ask – have I answered all of these questions? You’ve potentially lost student’s interest if they have to look for the answer to any of these basic questions.
- Think big – kick off your new semester with a brainstorming session by your team or group. Ask everyone to come up with as many new ideas as possible to help you promote your club or event. Then group your ideas into categories, such as ‘fundraising’ membership drive’ ‘events’ etc. Assign channels next to these ideas (digital advertising, posters, social media etc).
- Enjoy what you do! Your passion will excite others, so let it shine through in your publicity.
- Try using a marketing or communications plan about 5 weeks out from your event or do one per semester to mark out competitions, fixtures, term holidays and committee meetings as well. You can reference your brainstorming lists to help fill the plan in. Make sure you include deadlines and assign fixed tasks to members.
- Brand. Brand identity isn’t for big business anymore. It applies to any group or organisation that wants to connect with people. Choose a brand, style and logo and set these out for all members to use. Maintaining this identity throughout all of your promotional materials and elements will increase your recognition by students and others. You’ll be surprised how many new students will look online before bee-lining to groups at Activities fair for example, so stay consistent.
- Give yourself time, and schedule your promotion. Give the Union and students plenty of notice to help support you and make your efforts a success. (Please note our deadline dates on the marketing support page.)
- Work together and assign tasks fairly. Motivate your committee with small rewards, fun planning sessions and lots of opportunities to be creative.
- Consider involving other groups or teams. Is there an opportunity to share or co-host an event?
- Talk to your sabbatical officers. The Students’ Union sabbatical officers are well connected students who can advocate or promote your activity through their networks. They may even have ‘insider knowledge about how you can tie into wider Union or University events. Let them help you spread the word through their channels. All you need to do is have a chat. Email or call directly.
Promotion within the Union
You can promote your events through our comms channels, you just need to let us know! Youc an also put up all of your material around University House and in Atmosphere. You can also create events on our webpage to help you get the extra attention.
Your Webpage Matters!
Every activity and sports group has a webpage on the Students’ Union Website. This little page does a lot more for your society or committee than you may think.
The University of Salford Students’ Union website can reach as many as 10,500 hits per week, with the majority of average site visits coming from people interested in Activities.
The events calendar is checked and used by people all over the North West and UK, not just our 20,000 Salford students!
- With fresh content, we can feature you on our main pages, link to you or spotlight you in newsletter and social media.
- New students will find you here first, some even before A level results day!
- You can upload news and events which get rotated throughout the website.
- By adding your events and news to your page, it feeds through to the main Students' Union calendar which means your events has a prominent space and can be picked up by the Union or University for featuring in our channels.
- Brands look to these pages for sponsorship and media sales opportunities.
Take some time each week to tend to your webpage, and watch your results grow.
Top tips for quality society or sports marketing online:
- Double check your dates and times and apply the appropriate time length to each event. If it finishes at 11pm, say so.
- Put the most important information at the top.
- If your event is on for a few days/nights, create a new website event for each. You can make a Facebook event run over the time period.
- Keep your page updated – this will keep your page interesting and make it look active.
- Remove old materials or a ‘Previous events listing’ in your content if you want to demonstrate what you’ve done.
- Use sentence case, never caps and ALWAYS spell check.
- Get help with photoshop or image layouts and NEVER use stretched or poor quality images. We can help.
- Use your logo where you can, and when using Union material, follow the brand guidelines.
The two main social media channels societies should focus on are Facebook and Twitter.
Creating a Facebook page and keeping it regularly updated with your upcoming events and photos is one of the best ways to promote your society. Practically everybody is on Facebook now, and checking out a page is a way for prospective members to get to know more about the society outside of their webpage. Having a Facebook group for organising among active members is great, but having a page is a necessity. Check out the Union's page for inspiration!
Twitter is the best way to engage with students directly, as well as the University, external organisations, and us! You will also be able to work with other societies more easily and promote your events widely across campus. Be sure to follow us on @USSUStudentOpps and tag us in what you're doing so we can help out! If you take lots of photos of your events, Instagram is a perfect place to collate these and furhter promote your society. We will be collecting lots of highresolution photos over the years which you can use! Follow @salfordsu to see what we get up to!
We run several fairs during the year with the largest in September. These fairs are the best way to showcase your group/teams and kickstart your membership drive. Use the fairs to give out information and key dates, gather support for your teams and encourage students to become fans. You can do anything really! It’s a very fun and social time, so make it as colourful and memorable as you like.
Target Your Representatives
We have over 700 student representatives for courses in the University. If your event can be targeted to a college or school, why not reach out and ask for some promotional support from your rep?
The Union supports SHOCK Radio and The Salfordian as societies. Get in touch with their teams to promote your event. If it’s newsworthy, or of interest you could get a lot of support very quickly just by working with your student media outlets.