Thursday, 13 October 2011

A Big Rant (about publicity)

I don't rant a lot - which is a shame because I actually enjoy it - but I'm going to rant now.

I was at an event this week organised by Wirral Libraries. On the way out a friend of a friend (and I'm not dissing her - she's a nice person - but this sort of thing happens ALL THE F***ING TIME!!) said:

'It wasn't very well publicised.'

I HATE it when people say this. How are they expecting to hear about local events? It's not going to be on telly during your favourite programme. No-one's going to knock on your door to tell you about it. Probably no leaflet through the door either - it's a pricey business advertising and really hard to do effectively on a tight budget - especially when you're trying to do it along with your regular job.

I used to work in press and PR so I know my stuff. I now work in libraries where we literally have no budget for promoting our events, or running them for that matter - we made cakes and sandwiches for our Centenary paid for out of our own personal pockets.

So can I just say, for the record (and general principles apply here):

a) It was advertised in the local paper. There was also an article about it - no mean feat as the only guaranteed newspaper space is a paid-for advert and a half page costs around £500. So if you're interested in local events - try checking the local paper. Just a thought.

b) Like author readings? Why not visit your local f***ing library and pick up the f***ing leaflet? Or go online to the council's website or library page on Facebook (try 'friending it' even!) and see what's coming up?

c) It was a poetry event in Wirral. It was on my 'poetry events in Wirral' page which I know you know about. Try checking it out occasionally.

d) The event was sold out

e) You were there, so you must have found out somehow.

I really don't know what people are expecting when they say something wasn't well publicised. As the potential audience for said publicity you have to be open to it, keep looking in places where sorts of things you like would be publicised.

You'd only complain if we found a way of beaming this sort of stuff directly to your brain.


  1. Are you sure this friend of a friend wasn't just winding you up?

  2. There's a big f!!! off folder in the council press office full of cuttings that show you did really well with publicity...Globe, News, loads of online stuff. You did well. Any tips for the press office?! x

  3. Martin may have a point, in which case it worked, and I’m sure you feel so much better now that you’ve got it off your chest. Do have another rant, any time you fancy. This one was very enjoyable.

  4. Several months ago I not only signed my local library on FB, but also the Norfolk Library Service. They post something most days.

    I think you over-publicise, given that it's too far for me to travel, and you leave me whistfully reading about events I'd love to attend.

  5. LOst count of the times I've had that line - I think it's just people moving their mouths about without engaging their brains, myself. I did once have someone say exactly that to me while standing beside a huge banner that publicised the event she thought wasn't being publicised...

  6. Martin - almost certainly not as I wasn't involved in pulicising this (don't think I mentioned that... duh!), I am just leaping to the defense of everyone who tries to get info 'out there'

    Anon - Ooh, a mysterious voice from the press office! Who dat? We may be talking about different events here. I;m on about Bookfest (unless you mean previous years?) not Wallasey stuff... but ta for saying! x

    Little Nell - I do like a rant but am generally able to see both sides of any argument. However, I'm getting rantier as I 'mature'!! Watch this space!

    Dave - Sorry about that! Of course I could be making them up just to frustrate you! ;-)

    Beangenie - Ah yes, I think Phillipa mentioned you were in PR in another life?! I'm actually immune to advertising myself - I completely edit it out... but I don't go on to complain that it wasn't there!!!

  7. I think you may need to rebelligerise your fisticuff sign. As it stands, it is true, you'd have a chance of knocking someone's eye out with a lucky punch-and-scoop; but if they ducked the wrong way you could also end up with a broken thumb.

  8. Philip - I confess it was done for me (unprovoked!) by Jinksy a while ago. But I'll wager you only said that so you could use the word 'rebelligerise'... which doesn't get out much and is probably made up... but I love it!! 8-)

  9. You're on the money with this rant.

  10. Ummm, it is challenging marketing anything, but you sound like you did a good job.

    I have found that people have stock reactions to given situations. For example, in every organisation I have ever worked in, the employees always complain that 'communication is crap'.

    When you ask them what they want to know, that they don't know already, they don't have an answer. Vacant.Sheep.

  11. Susan - I think it's struck a chord!

    Annie - It wasn't me doing this, but I leap to the defence of those who did!

    Friko - Grrrrr! *shakes fist* LOL