What to say and how to say it

By Lindy Sharpe

This is crucial. Think of the horror of organizing a great event and then not have anybody turn up. Not to mention the expense, because fewer visitors means less income. Put someone in charge of publicity right at the beginning, and share ideas at every meeting. Use anything you can to publicize your Seed Swap: posters, flyers, leaflets, signs in windows, notices in schools / health centres / pubs / the library, estate agents' boards, word of mouth, items in the local press or radio, a website, chatrooms, Facebook, banners pulled by aeroplanes get the picture. Be inventive, and don't hang back.

What to say

You need to communicate WHAT, WHEN (date and time) and WHERE. Keep these three bits of information clear and prominent. Provide a one-line explanation of a Seed Swap: 'an event where you can exchange locally grown, traditional variety vegetable seeds', or similar. Be clear whether you are asking people to save seed or come to the Seed Swap. Include information about any added attractions, such as refreshments, talks, demonstrations, films, children's activities, crèche. Once they are confirmed, include the names of speakers / performers / films.

Say it with:
  • Posters and flyers. An eye-catching design helps, as does colour. Children are great poster artists, or ask a local artist or designer to help you. Do one flyer early in the season, encouraging or reminding people to save seed, then do a poster and flyer publicizing the event itself. Distribute them as widely as possible (see above), wherever interested people are likely to see them. Flyers should be put through doors, for which you will need volunteers. This is hard work - Seedy Sunday is now in a position to pay someone to do it, which you may want to consider. Printers may have minimum print runs - aim to get rid of them all.
  • Press releases. These are brief, informative, appetizing descriptions of your event (see our Model Press Release), sent to media outlets that might run an item or include your event in local listings. From the outset, compile a list of likely organizations. Do one Release early in the season encouraging people to save seeds, and one later on promoting the event.
  • Media. Most local media are keen to get interesting stories. Try local radio, newspapers and magazines. Notice bylines, or phone or to ask who the appropriate person is to send the press release to - try to send it to someone by name, with a note saying why you think it will interest that person. Check copy deadlines (the date by which information needs to be received in order to be included). Be prepared to talk to reporters over the phone, or be interviewed on radio - if necessary, appoint a 'press' person to do all this.
  • Take a stall at local events - community events, festivals, school fairs, etc - to publicize what you do and recruit helpers.
This page was added on 26/01/2008.
Comments about this page

doyou plan in the winter or early spring for the summer or fall seed swap? and once you are rolling you do it every week? do you make money? i am orginally from the Shenandoah Valley of Virgiina and i live in the mennonite region, which is known for its heirloom seeds. I want to give something back to create a solution for the GMO's and also create travel and income. Is this possible? th ank you olivia sterling

By olivia
On 04/01/2013