Marketing & Press for Your Facing Project
When you signed on to The Facing Project, your community received its own website. Your Facing Project website is the tool to showcase your project by sharing stories, pictures and video; recruit volunteers and partners; tout partners; and connect to other Facing communities to see how they’ve marketed their projects. And it lives on beyond your project to continue the conversation. In fact, beyond local communities, we’ve seen non-Facing Project communities pick up on the stories to use for their own community conversations – putting your project on the map.
Other ways to spread the word beyond your website is to look at 21st century marketing through social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are great ways to get information out about your project and engage your constituency groups through crowd sourcing and instant feedback. A few Facing Projects have established their own Facebook pages that have not only helped spread their stories, but have been a great place to market their project and subsequent events and conversations.
Two good examples are:
Additionally, The Facing Project, as a parent organization, has its own Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you have your own social media platforms, we will follow your pages and share your posts as well:
Hashtags to use on all social media: #facingproject, #thefacingproject, #iSeeStories
Prior to your book launch and LIVE event, your website and social media sites are a great place to showcase a few of the stories from your project as a teaser and to pique interest in the LIVE event.
Reflecting back on the “Finding the Right Partners” section of the Toolkit, how might campus partners be involved in the marketing and PR of your Facing Project to offer the opportunity to eager students? Or how will you involve area businesses in the project? Facing Depression in East Central Indiana was completely student led as a part of a journalism course at Ball State University. The college students were savvy about vlogging for their project. Check out some of their work here.
Additionally, campus and nonprofits could include information about your community’s Facing Project on their websites as well provide a link on their sites that connects back to your Facing Project website. If you have 15 organizations involved in the project, that’s 15 different websites and potentially 15 different viewing groups who are connecting back to your community’s project.
And don’t forget your local news outlets.
During Facing Poverty in Muncie, Indiana, the local newspaper agreed to cover a story relating to poverty during “Poverty Awareness Week,” and the night of the monologues they ran three of the stories featured in the book. This appeared in the print and online versions of the newspaper. For Facing Homelessness in Fort Wayne, the local newspaper ran a feature story on the project, and the local NBC news station invited the organizers to appear as special guests on the morning news during the week of events; one of the broadcasters even served as the emcee during the monologues.
For Facing Depression in East Central Indiana, WISH-TV, an Indianapolis-based broadcast news outlet, covered their project on the evening news prior to their book launch and LIVE event. This broadcast was watched by millions of viewers in central Indiana and all of the surrounding counties.
If you’ve never written a press release, we have an example under the “Resources” section of the Toolkit to help guide your release.
Additionally, your local National Public Radio (NPR) and PBS affiliates are a perfect outlet for your project.
For Facing Homelessness in Fort Wayne, Northeastern Indiana Public Radio invited the organizers as well as J.R. and Kelsey onto the Midday Matters show to discuss The Facing Project and Facing Homelessness in Fort Wayne. Community members were able to call into the show to discuss the project and homelessness. During the week leading up to project’s main event, which included an art exhibit, book release, and monologues, the host of Midday Matters produced a handful of the stories from the project and shared them with listeners each morning and late-afternoon during commercial breaks to promote the main event. You can listen to the interview here and the produced stories here. Another good example of an interview with a local NPR affiliate was Facing Sex Trafficking: Atlanta’s Dirty Little Secret. Project organizers appeared on the Rose Scott Show to discuss their project and the epidemic of sex trafficking in the Atlanta area.
For Facing Depression in East Central Indiana, organizers worked with videographers at their university and their local PBS affiliate to film the documentary, “Facing Depression.” Organizers of Facing Sex Trafficking: Atlanta’s Dirty Little Secret aired their LIVE theatrical event LIVE on their PBS affiliate. In addition, they worked with their PBS affiliate to produce a documentary of their LIVE event that aired at a later date.
All of these outlets are great ways to partner with the media to get your stories in the hands, and minds, of those who need to hear them most.