Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ideas about spreading the word about community events

~ First posted a while ago. Continuously being updated.

We here in Skokie, as well our friends in our neighboring suburbs, sponsor some interesting and important events. When I'm in charge of helping spread the word about an event, depending on the kind of event it is, I might use the given organization's website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and this blog to help spread the word about events. I also might use a targeted press release for some events. Here's some additional online news outlets and listings with whom I occasionally share information. If there are others outlets I should add to my list, I'd love to hear about them.

To share stories and photos about upcoming or recent events, consider...

Evanston Now
EN ia a news and information site for the Evanston community which aims to be a friendly place for everyone in town to post news items, create a unified community calendar and share photos and opinions. It is managed by editor and publisher Bill Smith. The site includes information about how to submit and a page of resources about being a citizen journalist.

I've not used these sites in a few years, so I am out of touch with them, but stories with possible interest beyond the Chicago area, Newsvine and NowPublic might be worth considering.

Here on Live From Skokie's blog, I occasionally accept guest submissions, but am more likely to tweet or retweet about your event and refer to your website. I'm best contacted via direct messages at @LiveFromSkokie on Twitter.

Event information can also be sent to WBEZ via
Consider sending event information to Time Out Chicago.

For event listings see these outlets. Some you'll have to start accounts with...

Evanston Now

Make It Better

Yelp - Start here.

Eventful - Start here. This is where WXRT and B96 pull their event calendar information.

WGN-TV - Start here.

WDRV-FM - Start here.

WCGO-AM - Recently started broadcasting their own shows, such as Everyday with French and Friends (M-F, 5-7 p.m.) and Coyote Radio (Sun 9-10 a.m.).  I suggest sending event info directly to Daniel French and Matt Pankiewicz.  If it is sports-related, try Kevin Burgess.

WMBI-FM - The station's community calendar aims highlight "family-friendly Christian events". Submit information at least one month before your event.

Metromix Chicago features restaurants, bars, clubs, events, movies, theatre. Start here to submit information for potential inclusion.

For events in Chicago, Glenview, Glencoe, Kenilworth, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Highwood, Highland Park or Deerfield, check out the Daily North Shore. For an idea of who's who there, see their Contact Us page.

For events focused on health, wellness and green living, submit to Natural Awakenings.

For "sophisticated" events, check out The Social Heir.

Non-profit organization's community events are posted on Comcast's Public Access Calendar.

For business events with broad appeal, consider Crain's Chicago Business. Submit information at least three weeks in advance to Also, there's Garysguide. No, not a guide to Gary, IN, it offers listings to business events. I've not worked with it yet, but will as lots of nice things are being said about it.

For events of interest to the Jewish community in the Chicago area, submit to JUF/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago's calendar.

If you want media coverage of the event...

Is it photogenic?
Chicago Tribune's photo assignment desk -
Sun-Times photo desk -

Pioneer Press' Skokie Review is now a Tribune property. Mike Isaacs is still the guy reporting on Skokie. He's at @SKReview_Mike and

One of the online players in town is Skokie Patch. (Their page for creating an account was not working correctly when last I checked.)

Buy Public Narrative's Gettting on the Air, Online and Into Print media guide to be really thorough.

Sometimes tossing something over the transom, so to speak, can be useful or a waste of time. Tip: Should you choose to use these email address, do not include them all in the same email. (TV)

Mass communication is helpful, but...

Sharing information via the news outlets will help an organization reach external audiences, people you don't know yet and who may or may not know you. These suggestions can be a fine supplement, but not a substitute, for getting in touch with your internal audience, people who know you and have opted-in, signed up for your news.

For certain kinds of events, ask your board or committee to help spread the word via their own communication and social media networks.