Promote & Enhance Your Event

Reach Out to the Media

Spread the word about your NDAFW events and activities. Media outlets such as local news stations, radio programs, city newspapers and their websites, and high school newspapers are all good outlets for publicizing your NDAFW event. Here are three steps to help guide you in working with the press.

Step 1: Develop a key message to deliver to the media.

Before you contact the media, develop a few key talking points that will help them understand what NDAFW is and what you’re trying to accomplish with your event. Preparing these messages in advance will help you speak consistently about NDAFW and have a framework from which to answer any media questions you receive. Check out our Learn About NDAFW page for key points.

Tips to develop your key message
  • Keep your information short and easy to understand.
    • Example: Here's a chance to ask questions and get the facts about drugs!
  • Explain why you’d like them to cover your event.
  • Include basic information about your event.
    • Example: Who, What, When, Where, and Why
  • Inspire people to take action.
    • Example: Tell them they can make a difference in teens’ lives when they help spread knowledge to SHATTER THE MYTHS® around drugs and drug use.
  • Make it clear to the press that your event provides a safe, honest environment to discuss drugs and drug use. 
  • Incorporate your key message across all of your communications channels—including pitches, press releases, social media, and other media platforms.

Step 2: Create an effective media list.

After you've created your key messages, develop a list of all media contacts that should receive this information. The media list should include information on the topics each reporter covers, his/her contact information, and other relevant details (e.g., the best times to call). Be sure your list includes all local TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers, including university and high school papers:

  • Each station and newspaper has reporters that cover different kinds of news. Think about which ones might be most interested in your event.
  • For newspapers, start with the metro or local reporters. You could also contact health, youth, education, and lifestyle reporters. Look for names of reporters in those sections, or call the newspaper to get their names.
  • Consider influential bloggers in your area that cover issues related to health, youth, or drugs and drug use.

Step 3: Distribute press materials.

When working with the media, it’s helpful to provide resources and tools to help them write their articles. 

Host an Online Event

Twitter Chat:

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Follow #NDAFW on Twitter & Facebook

Digital.gov has some great lessons on hosting a Twitter chat. We’ve shared a few below.

Observe first – You may want to participate in a chat before hosting your own. This will give you the chance to see what they’re like and learn a little more about your community and audience on Twitter.

Choose a theme – What topics are relevant to your online audience or local community? Consider others in your community who might also participate in this topic.

Pick your hashtag – Use a hashtag to help your participants follow along by picking something that is easily identifiable. 

Plan your questions in advance – If you have others participating as panelists, it’s also helpful to provide the questions to them ahead of time, so they can be prepared.

Prepare your Twitter chat team – Some Twitter chats can become tough to manage if you have a lot of participants.  If you are able, consider asking members of your team each taking a specific role to help keep things organized. At NIDA, we like to have at least one person post content and one additional person to keep an eye out for audience questions.

Promote your chat – Don’t forget to let people know about your chat ahead of time! Promote your chat on your social media and any other channels you use to reach your audience.

Facebook Live:

If you’re hosting an event with speakers or panelists, you may want to consider livestreaming on Facebook, Twitter or another social media platform. You can also host a Q&A on Facebook Live, either as a follow-up to a lecture or on its own.

Here are some tips from HIV.gov for hosting a Facebook LIVE Q&A session.

Before Your Event:

  • Plan out your content- Create an event that your audience will want to watch by drafting a script or run-of-show that roughly outlines how your livestream will take shape
    • Prepare your presenters and make sure they talk to the audience, not just each other
    • Build in opportunities to pause and assess or answer any questions that might come from the audience
    • Promote your Facebook Live event before, during, and after the stream

During Your Event:

  • Stay social- Facebook live is more than a broadcast platform and you should incorporate two-way communication into your script
    • Say hello to viewers who are participating in the event
    • Encourage viewers to leave comments or questions in the comments section
    • If possible, respond to viewer questions in real time

After Your Event:

  • Review your analytics to see how well your live video performed
  • Create your own lessons learned to use during your next event
Get a Proclamation Issued for Your Event

A proclamation is an official designation of an event issued by governors, mayors, county executives, state legislators, counties, cities, or towns. It’s a great way to get some public recognition!

How can I get a proclamation issued?

Contact your local government official's communications office and ask what action is needed to designate National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® in your community. Contact information can usually be found online.

What should a proclamation say?

The proclamation should declare (date of week) as National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® and be signed by your local government official. This notes that he or she supports the observance. The proclamation should discuss the importance of this week, as well as the importance of teens asking questions and getting good, solid scientific answers.

Then what?

Send the proclamation to local health organizations and local government officials, including the mayor or governor and encourage them to display the proclamation, especially on their websites. Then, send it to us at drugfacts@nida.nih.gov