5 ways to promote internal training and events

Shutterstock_38668822 I had a meeting with a client this morning and one of the topics on the agenda was how could they better promote an internal training event that was optional for the employees.

When I asked how they would normally promote it, they said…we'd make up a flier with all the information and attach it to an e-mail.  We'd send it out to everyone.  We might send it out a couple times or ask their supervisors to also send it out.

There's nothing wrong with what they're doing.  But, there's not enough right. You've got to toss a lot of messages and media into the blender and mix it all up — to try to reach everyone.

Remember, your audience needs to hear your message 8-13 times before they notice that you're talking to them!

Here are some other ideas we came up with as we brainstormed:

Tease them:  Don't give them ALL the information at once.  Give them the bare bones (date, time, place etc.) but keep some of the details for the next communication.

Catch it on camera: Run around the office with a flip camera and record some people who know about the event.  Ask them why they're excited or looking forward to it.  Post it on YouTube, your corporate intranet or someplace else that employees will go see it.

Drip marketing:  Remember….you want your marketing to be a drip, not a downpour.  So why get 6-8 little tidbits of the content (think if it like a snack…which is how we like to consume information) and rather than send out one huge e-mail….once a week, send a tip tied to the content of the training.

Let them eavesdrop:  Using BlogTalk Radio or Skype + Audio Hijack, whip up a quick 5-minute podcast with the presenter.  Let the potential audience hear the presenter's enthusiasm and energy around the topic.

Make it personal:  Draft a quick 15-30 second script and ask every supervisor to personalize it and then leave a voice mail for their direct reports….inviting them to the event.

What have we done?  We've hit them with the written word, teased them with tasty snacks of content, let their peers and supervisor weigh in, used multi-media, and made it personal.

All for the cost of….$0.  (Audio Hijack is $32 if you opt for that solution).

How could you use this recipe for things you need to communicate internally?

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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9 comments on “5 ways to promote internal training and events

  1. andrew says:

    Just 5 ways, looks so easy and at the same time so complicated.

  2. Andrew,

    Well, there’s nothing that says you need to do all five. Just some thought starters.


  3. Jessica says:

    I’ll attest to the fact that teasing works wonders! I presented a lunch/info session called the “16 to 219 Luncheon” but didn’t explain what “16 to 219” meant. It worked – we got more than half of the invite list to show up, which is absolutely huge for our campus.

    Thanks for the additional ideas – they’re great to keep in my back pocket.

  4. anonoymous says:

    These are all good ideas. I think a great way to motivate employees to come out to optional training is to offer some sort of small prize. If done properly, this will become competitive among the employees and more people will want to attend this employee training. Or, you could create an event that was half training, and then half something else; perhaps a sporting event. It would be a great way to get more employees involved and social as well as better trained.

  5. Thanks for these tips. This sparked some ideas on promoting external lunch and learns or webinars too. These ideas can be repurposed for use that way as well.

  6. Jessica,

    You have my curiosity up — what was 16 to 219?


  7. Anonymous —

    Everyone likes free stuff. Prizes, contests, bribes, free food — all are great ways to create an added incentive to your training or meeting.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little bribe now and then!


  8. Red,

    Agreed — they would work just as well for those purposes.

    Have any others to suggest to the gang?


  9. Preethi says:

    I need some help to get people to register to the sporting activities. We never get good responses from the employees. We sent out Mailer s but very poor responses

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