Skip to page content
Two farmers and child at sunset
Farm Family Safety and Health Workshop  Revised edition

Chapter 6: Publicizing Your Workshop

Good publicity increases the attendance of a program and promotes awareness of farm safety and health. In fact, the impact from the media coverage of a farm safety event should exceed the impact of the event. If well organized, pre and post event coverage will reach far more people with the safety message. Sometimes, local sponsors are willing to purchase advertising to promote your workshop. However, the majority of your publicity will be generated through news media or other public forums. Newspapers, radio stations, and even television stations in rural communities often produce a regular agricultural news program, and are usually willing to publicize community activities of this type. The local newspaper, radio station, or television station may even want to develop a feature story on farm safety in conjunction with a story on your workshop.

Promotion Plan

As the farm safety workshop organizer, you should develop a "Promotion Plan" as you prepare for your event, and identify someone on your planning committee to serve as a "media liaison" or publicity coordinator. It may also be useful to include a member of the local media on your committee. The following table is an example of a promotion plan developed for a farm safety day-camp.

2 months prior

Preliminary promotion: Camp announcement

  • Introductory news release (brief) - date, location, plans underway
  • Letters to area orgnizations (e.g. Farm Bureau, FFA Chapters)
  • Preliminary contacts with local media Promotional phot shoot (for use in primary news release)
1 month prior Primary promotion: "Preregistration encouraged"
  • Primary news release - date, location, content, sponsors,etc.
  • Radio PSAs, schedule interviews (radio, TV)
  • Paid advertisements from sponsors (if appropriate)
  • Send invitations to local media to attend the camp
2 weeks prior Final promotion: "Be sure to attend"
  • Third / final news release (brief) - special promotions, incentives
  • Reminders sent to organizations
  • Second round of radio PSAs and interviews
  • Arrangements for media visits to camp (send reminders)
CAMP DAY "Live at the Farm Safety Day Camp"
  • Media information packet, help arrange interviews and "shoots"
  • Possible "live feed" with local radio station
1 week after Follow-up: Thanks
  • Follow-up news release on activities, attendance, and sponsors
  • Letter to editor thanking workers, sponsors, and attendees

Though many parts of this example promotional plan are optional, the basic framework can apply to most situations. The key point is to repeat your message often, and to utilize a variety of media outlets. When media representatives contact you, be prepared to provide a brief summary of the most important information. Remember, allow plenty of time to involve your local media early, and consider their deadlines in planning your promotional activities.

The following sections provide more detailed information on developing news releases and public service announcements (PSAs) for promoting your workshop.

Developing a News Release

News releases should be as brief as possible, but must contain all critical information intended for the audience. The following questions should be answered in the first paragraph, or the "lead," of the news release:

What is the program?

Who should attend?

When is it?

Where is it?

After answering these questions, include a short description of the workshop, and why the topic is important. Comments and background statistics from you or another workshop organizer or sponsor can be presented as "quotes" to provide a "human interest" element to the article.

Be sure to list the sponsors of the program, and provide a name and phone number so interested persons can call for more information. If appropriate, provide specific instructions on how people should preregister for the workshop.

News releases should be typed and double spaced for easy reading and editing. As the person submitting the article, your name should be provided as the "source." Include your phone number in case the editor or reporter has questions. The following sample news release has been included to assist you in developing a release for your workshop.

Document Acrobat (.PDF) Word (.DOC)
Sample News Release Download PDF download Download MS Word doc download

Public Service Announcements

In addition to providing publicity for you workshop, public service announcements (PSAs) are an excellent method of increasing public awareness about farm safety and health issues. Radio stations are encouraged to devote programming time to public service announcements, and are usually willing to work with community groups wishing to promote farm safety.

Most PSAs consist of 30-second (and sometimes 10-, 15-, or 60-second) "sound bites" that address a single issue. Normally, the text or script, for PSAs is provided to station officials to record. Many stations, however, encourage community members to record their own PSAs. Hearing a friend or neighbor on the radio will often generate more interest than a professionally produced announcement. A trip to the station for a short recording session may be required. This visit provides a great opportunity, particularly for children, to learn what happens behind the scenes at a radio station, and to be heard on the air in the local community.

The following section provides several sample 30-second PSAs addressing a variety of farm safety topics. These announcements, or similar PSAs on safety issues to be addressed in your workshop, can be used to "hook" your audience and announce your event. Portions of the following samples enclosed with a [bracket] may be replaced with brief messages about a safety workshop. Remember to maintain the basic 30-second or 60-second format when modifying PSA scripts. You may wish to consult your local radio station for additional assistance in producing effective PSAs for your event.

Document Acrobat (.PDF) Word (.DOC)
Sample Public Service Announcement Download PDF download Download MS Word doc download


Posters are an effective means of promoting programs within communities. An attractive, well-designed poster can help generate interest in your workshop. Posters should be simple in design and provide the most vital information, such as date, time, location, highlights of the program (why people should attend), and a phone number to call for information. You may also include information on special features (special guests, unique programs) or incentives (T-shirts, door prizes) that may encourage people to attend. In terms of design, your poster should use bold, dark text on a light, or brightly colored background. A sample poster design is provided on the following page.

It is important to remember that even the most cleverly designed poster is useless unless people see it, and see it early enough to make plans. Common sense tells us that the more places you display your poster, and the longer you display it, the more people will receive your message. Good places to display a poster so that it reaches rural and farm audiences include farm supply stores, co-ops, feed stores, and equipment dealerships. You should also consider other "high-traffic" centers, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, popular restaurants, and large discount stores. Churches, youth centers, and medical clinics are also good places in which to reach people interested in safety.

Document Acrobat (.PDF)  
Sample Promotional Poster Download PDF download


Brochures are often used as "companion pieces" to posters and other forms of promotion, and may be distributed with posters or used as a "direct marketing" tool in mailings to "target groups," such as 4-H leaders, farm organization members, or school teachers. The information in the brochure may be very similar to that on the poster, but can provide details on the program, specific workshop topics, sponsors, and registration information.

Brochures are generally designed in a threefold format so they can be sent more easily through the mail. Your brochure doesn't need to be fancy, but it should be attractive and "uncluttered." You may choose to have someone on your committee design the brochures and posters using some type of desktop publishing computer software, or you may wish to ask someone from the local print shop to donate "in-kind" services in the form of designing and printing your promotional materials. A sample brochure designed for a farm safety day-camp is available.

Document Acrobat (.PDF)  
Sample Brochure Download PDF download


Promotional efforts can often be enhanced by offering additional enticements, or incentives, for people to attend your event. Incentives may include sponsored "give-aways" such as T-shirts, first aid kits, or videos that every participant receives, or door prizes awarded to persons traveling the farthest or bringing the most people with them. Meals and "celebrity" guests or presenters can provide additional inducement for people to attend.

Last updated: 18-May-2006 11:08 AM