You'll need to launch a media campaign to win coverage for your event. Begin with a well-crafted press release that underscores the reason for the event and names the dignitaries who will appear.
Send it to your press list by fax or e-mail, and then follow up by phone. Stress the need for the event and pitch a larger story to key journalists.
You can also get a member of the media involved as the master of ceremonies to ensure more coverage. Just be sure the media person is from a major press outlet that will reach the right people for you.
Send out a second release closer to the date that publicizes the event from a slightly different angle, and follow that up with phone calls as well.
In addition, you can put together a support team and give each person a certain number of tickets to sell. Talk with local businesses about buying tables or taking sponsorships and acknowledge them in your program. Good luck!
Question added to topic Marketing • July 7, 2008
Do radio and TV offer sponsorship of events or a free media package?
I have an event scheduled for September that honors U.S. military personnel. It is nonpolitical, but I have not yet established a nonprofit company. I need as much free advertising as possible. How can I approach the media for this?