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How to Run a Quick Publicity Campaign on Twitter

Running a last-minute outreach campaign for your nonprofit’s event can be stressful and chaotic, but a simple publicity push on Twitter can save the day.

Ideally, nonprofits should begin publicity campaigns for major events – writing press releases, reaching out to reporters and publicizing on social media – months in advance.

But if you find yourself short on time to launch a comprehensive campaign for your nonprofit’s upcoming event, consider using Twitter to send out targeted tweets to key people who might be interested in the event. To do this effectively, first do some background research to identify reporters, bloggers, editors and community members based in the region where your event is taking place, and send them a concise and informative tweet with a link to the event and relevant hashtags.

For example, I recently helped run a quick publicity campaign for the National Sand Sculpting Festival (#NSSF) in Revere, Mass., which brings together professional artists to create gorgeous sand artwork. We sent out emails to media professionals and other individuals in the community who might be interested in attending the event. Then my colleagues and I reached out to 113 local reporters and community members in the area on Twitter with the following tweet:

Instead of posting a general message about the event on Twitter, we sent the same tweet to each person directly. We included two relevant hashtags: #Boston and #NSSF to increase the chances of our tweet appearing in searches. This tweet works well, because it provides just enough information to catch the interest of the people receiving it without overwhelming them with specific details. It also provides a link, which contains more information about the event.

Overall, 16 people retweeted the message, which provided more exposure for the event, because the tweet was now in the radar of their followers. Six people responded directly to the tweet, including an editor at the Boston Globe who wrote, “Thanks. We posted a story on it Friday and we’ll be sure to remember it [for] our coverage plans this week.”

Carefully written tweets can help your nonprofit tremendously during crunch time for event promotion. Let us know in the comments section below if you have any other ideas on using Twitter or other social media platforms to publicize events on a tight deadline.