10 Tips to Promote Your Residential Solar Screening Event

You have confirmed your solar screening date, now you need to tell people about it. Here are ten tips from EcoMatters that will help you get people to the screening.  The more people that attend your event, the better chance you have to get ten homes that go solar and funding for your organization.

  1. Tell a Friend:  Tell people about the event in person.  Your recommendation to attend the screening is important because people are busy and need convincing to come out.  Tell your friends, your organization members and supporters and have them tell their friends and networks.
  2. Send an Email Blast Notice:  Send out an invitation to at least 150 of your members/supporters/friends on email or by an email marketing tool like MailChimp, Constant Contact or Evite.  Keep the content short and let them know about the event – where, when, why, RSVP, etc.
  3. Do a Postcard Mailing:  If you don’t have a good email network, develop a simple postcard mailer and send out the invitation to your mailing list.  Ask EcoMatters if you need a sample.
  4. Post Flyers: Create a flyer and post it everywhere: message boards, cafes, laundromats, bus stations, grocery stores, libraries, playgrounds, town halls, and other public places.   Be careful not to violate local posting policy and town / state regulations. Ask your local pizza restaurant to put flyers in take-out food containers or on the pizza boxes.  It doesn’t hurt to ask and local shops will often display your information in their windows if you ask nicely.  Ask your high school’s environment club to distribute flyers.
  5. Get the Event Info into Newsletters/Bulletins: Reach out to your local organizations and ask them to include a mention of the solar screening event.  For example, information could go in the e-newsletters of local schools, Green Teams, the garden club, neighborhood groups, chambers of commerce, faith group bulletins and business associations.
  6. Use Social Media-FaceBook/Twitter/Websites:  Send out the event details out on your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as on your organization accounts.  Put the event information on your town’s website.
  7. Grow Your Network: Ask your friends and networks to forward your email on to people they think would be interested in the solar screening or to post the information on any site or notice board they think would be appropriate.   This type of promotion is also eco-friendly because it is paperless.
  8. Reach Out to the Media:  Local newspapers are always looking for good stories.  With the right pitch you can get an article in to promote the event.  For example, a pitch that has worked well is: “Smithville community hosts an event to screen residents for zero-cost solar installation that in turn will provide discounted electricity.”  Call the editor or send a media release as far in advance as possible. Write your release or event advisory concisely and make the content newsworthy and informational but not overly promotional. Does your town have a local Patch?  This on-line local news and information platform is a great place to get a story to promote the screening event.
  9. Submit Info to Calendar Listings:  Submit the basic event information to newspaper and online Calendar of Events sections.  Many people read these columns because they are looking for things to do.
  10. Have People RSVP: Set up an online evite so that people register to attend.  Having a ball park number of attendees will help you as the event organizer and will collect the contact information of the attendees in case you want to follow-up.  Also, if people RSVP, they are more likely to attend the event than if there is no advanced commitment.  Free evites include Eventbrite and Evite.
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