Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2014 PROMO: OPENSIM: Promote a special event in virtual worlds. Suggested plans

OPENSIM:  Promote a special event in virtual worlds. Suggested plans
Detailed planning model for promoting events in virtual worlds.  Since virtual worlds may not have a large population inworld and you don't have a big advertising budget, you need to  make heavy use of social media, public calendars, and the like.

Marketing campaign to promote an event 

If you build it, will they come?  Don't count on it.  That works in movies, but the people who make movies prefer to rely on promotion.    You need a Social Media Specialist/Manager.  Someone who can plan out and execute your marketing campaign.  Someone who--well, just look at the job description for Social Media Specialist/Manager. 

In RL work, the Bureau of Labor Statistics prices such work at about $26. to  $55  (USD) per hour, but that is for established professionals with a documented track record.  

One month before  

Organize a publicity team.  Appoint a publicity chief (your social media specialist) and 2 deputies.
Publicity team:  Write a rough draft of the press release.  Send the rough draft (clearly marked as such) to everyone involved in the event.  Put in all the information you think you might use. It does not have to be well written. Count on other people will tell you what's wrong with it.  A few may even give you a rewrite.  One advantage of being an imperfectionist is that you get other people to perfect your work for you.

Main elements of press release for virtual world event

Teaser:  Why will the reader want to read this? (Hook)  Write the teaser that you hope the blogger will use as a headline.  
Date and Time: Grid time, GMT and California time for people in the US.  
Place: Landmark and textable location address, if possible
Promotional materials 
  • Make it easy for other people to promote your event. 
  • Posters and textures (full perm).
  • Publishable copy.  (What you want the bloggers to use).  
  • Focus on why people will want to come to the event.  
  • Use short sentences.  Use concrete language.  Try for visual imagery. 
  • Hit the main points, skip the rest.
Contact person: Grid name, social media name if possible.
Action  from recipient: be explicit, be clear, make it easy 

Three weeks before

Publicity team: Look for public calendars where you can post your event.  There may be Grid calendars, such as:
There may also be calendars maintained by artists, groups of artists, venues, or genre fans.  If your grid does not have a grid calendar of events, maybe you want to suggest one.  You can find instructions in the  Kitely Events Calendar and the related links it gives. 

About Google calendars:  
  • Put the virtual world location in the description.  The Google location field may get it wrong.
  • Google calendars will normally assume that a time you enter is the time for your location
  • They will normally show other people the time for their locations
  • Virtual world calendars embedded on a web page will often be set to show everyone the grid time.  
  • Try entering your local time for an event. Check the embedded calendar. 


Two weeks before

Publicity team: Send the press release to bloggers and to any local media (of the performers) that might use it.  Be sure you have the dates/times right.  Indicate:
For immediate release unless you have some reason for delay.
Publicity team: Watch the blogs. If they post about your event, Like the post in Facebook, +1 the notice in G+  and share it where you can.  

One week before

Publicity team: Send an advance notecard to appropriate groups and other mailing lists.  Include links to any blogs that have used your press release.
Publicity team:  Post on Facebook, G+, and/or other social media.  Remind all the participants that they can help if they Like the post on Facebook, share it on Google+ ,or pass it on to any other social community   If you can get additional posts during the week, that would be good.

Near event time and during

Publicity team sends out reminders
  • Everybody involved in the event gets a message:
  • Please post on FacebookG+, and/or other social media. 
  • Like (or similar action) where ever you see a notice of this event.
  • Post a picture if you can.  

News and Notes

Video-Machinima in virtual worlds
  • For more on topics like this, circle Selby Evans in Google+ 
  • What do we do in Virtual Worlds? 
  • Kitely: low cost virtual worlds.
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  • Annotated screen shots made with Jing
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  • Thinkerer Melville/Selby Evans

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