Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Some ideas about publicity for "Battle of Nations"

To my regular readers: I had promised some of the folks who are planning to go to Poland in the Spring to fight in Battle of Nations (see YouTube), that I would post some ideas for fund-raising and publicity.

I figured this would be a good place to park them.

Greetings, all.
I have a number of ideas about securing sponsorships or donations for the trip to Poland.
For those who do not know me, I am Master Liam St. Liam, an East Kingdom Pelican, who has worked royal reigns for at least two team members.
Mundanely, I am Bill Toscano. I am the managing editor at a group of small, local weekly newspapers on the New York/Vermont border. I have been in the business for 30 years, and I am a teacher when I am not a journalist.
These are just ideas. You do not *have* to listen to me. God knows, Lucan and Andreas didn’t always listen to me. Fast Eddie *never* listens to me.
To me, publicity is critical. Not all of these suggestions will result in funds right away, but I believe they will put you out in the public eye.

1. Put together a press packet.  This won’t be just for the press. It will also be for potential sponsors.
Start with three photos, you fighting in good armor, you posing in good armor and a head-and shoulders shot of you in the good armor without a helm. If you know someone with a digital SLR, that’s the best way to go. Save them at the highest resolution you can.

Write a letter of introduction. Include your mundane name, where you work, your SCA or Medieval fighting name and background in Medieval fighting and re-enactment. (Note: I realize this is not an SCA “thing,” but I think mentioning what you have done in the SCA is important).

Then hit them with something to the effect of, “My passion for Medieval fighting is going to lead me to Poland, and I hope you will share this with your readers.”

Write about the team and what you’re going to be doing and include a link to the video of the first 15 minutes of Battle of Nations.

Put it all together, have it proofread, and get ready to send it.

2. Determine your best bet for local newspapers. I would be glad to help advise on that. For daily papers, get the name and email for the city editor. For weeklies, the editor is the best way to go.
Also see if there is a or other hyper-local internet site covering your area.
Part of this will hinge on where you live. If you’re in a big city, you may have more choices.

3. Expand your approach to local civic groups.

Find contact information for the local Rotary, Lions, etc. Heck, you may be *in* one of these groups.
Let them know you are available to speak at meetings about your trip to Poland. (If you can bring video, even better). Be brief when you talk. Bring show-and-tell.
At the very least, you will get a free meal and a coffee mug or pen. If you’re lucky, they may pass the hat or you might get a sponsorship inquiry.

3. Do at least one or two school visits. Money is unlikely here, but again your name gets out, the newspaper may come, and you never know. The library youth group is also another opportunity. Also, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will love every minute of it. They might even make a donation.

4. If you are in the VFW or American Legion, you might want to pass the word there. Think about any community groups you are in.

5. Set up a PayPal account. Write a post about why you are going and post it to whatever social-networking sites you use and ask folks to pass it along. I know some of you won’t want to do this, but some will, and I can tell you from Special Olympics Polar Plunge fund-raising, it works.
I will come up with other ideas as we go along, and I have been mulling over the answer to “What benefits do I get from sponsoring you” for when potential sponsors ask.

In service,