Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tips for announcing community events, festivals, fund-raisers, workshops, and such

{A version of this blog appeared a couple of years ago. This is an update.}

First things first:

The “Holy Grail” of a single portal, Facebook page, web-site, mobile-app, or FM radio station where you can tell the world the wonderful things your organization is doing simply does not exist.

For the past few years, the Silver Spring Regional Center has been releasing regular e-blasts that consists of a combination of civic meetings, community gathering and celebrations, and sample of fund-raisers and ticketed events. We do this as part of our mission to be “the eyes and ears of the community to County government – and vice versa.”  We also do this because we help “staff” the Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment District; and, we manage the Silver Spring Urban District.

Of course, we are not – and never intend to be - THE single source for information for all the amazing things going on in the Silver Spring Regional Area, which includes over 25 identifiable neighborhoods, eight commercial hubs, a major downtown area, and an incorporated City (Takoma Park) with its own downtown; and many great venues, countless restaurants, commercial entertainment opportunities, community serving non-profits, and over 60 faith communities.

We certainly appreciate and welcome you letting us know what is going on. We hope you will continue having us on your mailing list – or add us to it if we are not already.  Please send it directly to:
In return, please do subscribe to our e-blast. Go HERE to sign up. (We promise it is easy to unsubscribe if these e-blasts get to be spam for you.)

If you are looking for other sources to expand your message and reach the broadest audience possible for that next function, camp, workshop, etc., here’s some pointers we hope are helpful to you.


There are a handful of media outlets that welcome knowing about what is going on in the community and provide an excellent place to let the “general public” know about what you are doing. Among these are:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog  Washington Post’s “Going Out Guide.”  Make sure you ‘search’ for Silver Spring…  Solid listing of commercial opportunities.

http://silverspring.patch.com/events/category/family   “Silver Spring Patch” events calendar…  An excellent ‘searchable’ event listing.

http://www.takoma.com/calendar  “The Silver Spring Voice” events list…  Easy to read list.

http://www.gazette.net/section/calendargzevents   “Gazette.Net”…  Maryland Community News Online.  Probably the most comprehensive list of events, with easy to follow web-link.

http://www.wamu.org/arts   A simple way to reach the “NPR” crowd. And, your listing may even be featured in their daily “art minute”.

In our recent e-blasts, we routinely lists others' calendars and directories. Here's a sample of the latest:

Silver Spring general downtown area
Visit Montgomery (Countywide but searchable to Silver Spring)
New! Park & Planning's Monthly Calendar

SSTCi Winter Program in the Civic Building

Downtown Silver Spring 
(Ellsworth Dr, by the Fountain)
Silver Spring A&E District
Takoma Park
Takoma/Silver Spring Voice 
Old Takoma
Cultural Arts Center (TPSS MC) 
Busy's Blog (Art-centric happenings)
The Fillmore 
American Film Institute (AFI) 
Meditation Museum Upcoming Events 

Blair High School News and More

All storefronts throughout downtown
Downtown Silver Spring 'core' (Ellsworth)
Chamber of Commerce 
Know of other on-line community calendars or directories specific to Silver Spring?
e-mail us HERE

Beyond these, there are of course the often forgotten ‘obvious people-to-people’ places that most organizations have easy access to. Ultimately, nothing replaces “word of mouth.”  Getting our own staff, board members, customers, clients, and friends to help us spread the word and get the function listed in their own virtual and real networks can pay great dividends. Key among these are:

- community listservs

- faith community bulletins

- other non-profits

- affinity groups message boards

Each organization knows best how to maximize their own resources. However it is done, it is imperative that these ‘obvious’ networks be tapped to promote and get the word out to the closest of ‘constituents’, the ‘friends-of-friends’. This is oftentimes one of the easiest and most productive acts that anyone can do without much effort to help the event be as successful as it can be. Yet, this simple approach is all too often brushed aside or not given the attention it merits.

We hope you will take advantage of all the existing tools to help you ‘spread the word’ and look forward to continuing to hear about the wonderful opportunities you create to build community!

See you around Silver Spring,

Reemberto Rodriguez, Director

Silver Spring Regional Area

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