How to Promote Your National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® Event
Tools for Success: This resource gives National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® event planners promotional “tools for success” using traditional and social media channels. The presentation includes examples of how to create a press list and pitch letter, manage onsite media and appropriate follow up after the event. In addition, event holders are given social media examples to promote their events via Twitter and Facebook.
Informed Families Campaign: Informed Families partnered with NIDA in January 2018 to deliver prevention messages during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® to Educators, Parents & Students throughout Florida.
- See what Informed Families did: Download (PDF, 2MB)
NIDA Has Resources to Help with Your Events
- Check out our free resources.
- Once you have decided on your event, a resource, “How to Promote Your National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week® Event: Tools for Success (PDF, 3MB)”, is available to help promote it through traditional and social media outreach.
Reach Out to the Media
Spread the word about your NDAFW events and activities. Media outlets such as high school newspapers, local news stations, radio programs, and city newspapers and their websites 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.
- Example: Give a few highlights about teen drug use from the latest Monitoring the Future study results.
- 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 abuse.
- Make it clear to the press that your event provides a safe, honest environment to discuss drugs and drug abuse.
- 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 abuse.
Step 3: Distribute press materials.
When working with the media, it’s helpful to provide resources and tools to help them write their articles. Customize these sample press materials with details from your event and use them as inspiration for your own press materials:
Shout Out on Social Media
Posting Tips: When posting on Facebook about your NDAFW event, you’ll want to:
- Make your post positive and include a call to action (e.g., Join Us! or Spread the Word!).
- Keep your message short and to the point.
- Include a link, an image, or a video that relates to your event.
- Mention your friends, colleagues, or other organizations in your posts to spread the word even further!
Need Ideas for Sample Posts? We’ve provided sample Facebook status updates that you can easily copy and paste to help let folks know about your event. Be sure to like the NIDA Facebook page and tag us in your posts!
- As part of #NDAFW, we are collaborating w/ @NIDANIH & @NIAAA [event details here] this week! [include link or image]
- To kick off National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week®, check out this awesome [picture, video, website [include appropriate link to highlighted item] #NDAFW @NIDANIH
- We’re [event details here] for #NDAFW! How are you getting involved?
Whether you tweet about your event to get people to attend, live tweet at the event itself, or help to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drugs by tweeting the facts, be sure to use the hashtag #NDAFW.
Tweeting Tips: When tweeting about your NDAFW event, you’ll want to:
- Use the hashtag #NDAFW in every tweet.
- Avoid shortening “you” to “u” and “are” to “r” and similar tricks.
- Include a link, as well as an appropriate image or video.
- Mention your friends, colleagues, or other organizations in your tweets to spread the word even further!
- As part of #NDAFW, we are collaborating w/ @NIDAnews & @NIAAAnews [event details here] this week! [include link or image]
- To kick off Nat’l Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, check out this awesome [picture, video, website [include appropriate link to highlighted item] #NDAFW @NIDAnews @NIAAAnews
- We’re [event details here] for #NDAFW! How are you getting involved?
Make your own video of your NDAFW events and share!
We have numerous videos on our YouTube account that you can share with your friends through social media.
You’ve worked hard to make your event a success. Tell the world about it! Your NDAFW event makes a great blog post. Use our sample blog post or create your own!
Blogging Tips: When blogging about your NDAFW event, you’ll want to:
- Keep your post short and easy to read.
- Make the title interesting and to the point.
- Include a call to action.
- Include links to appropriate sites, such as the NIDA for Teens or NDAFW websites.
Host an Online Event
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. May we suggest #NDAFW?
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. Our NDAFW toolkits can provide information on specific drug and alcohol-related topics that you might want to use for your Twitter chat
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.
- Example of Twitter Chat - #NDAFW 2018 Event Prep Twitter Moment on Drugs
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. For more tips, check out their blog.
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
Spread the Word With Posters, Flyers, and Brochures
Create Your Own NDAFW Flyers and Posters
- Customize Our Template
Print out this template and fill in your information. Print flyers yourself or print them at a print shop of your choice. Hang them everywhere teens are. Download flyer size [PPTX - 142KB] or download poster size [PPTX - 148KB].
- Create Your Own and Use Our NDAFW Logos
Use your creativity to make a flyer or poster. You can get ideas from past events by looking through Previous National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® Events (scroll down to “Check Out These NDAFW Event Posters!”) Don’t forget to use our NDAFW logos.
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 March 30-April 5, 2020, as 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 March 30-April 5, 2020 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.
Take a look at our Sample Proclamation [DOC - 164KB] and revise it to meet the needs of your community.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post proclamations from across the country!