Invite Your Community to Get Involved
Now that you’ve designed your event, figured out your finances, and arranged most of the logistics, there’s one major thing left to do before the home stretch: inspire your community to show up and participate! Here are the key steps we recommend to marketing your event and getting a great turnout:
Create Your Name Reading Sign-Up Sheet
Your #1 marketing goal for TWR is to recruit people to participate in the Name Reading. Your marketing communications (emails, flyers, social media posts) should direct people to sign up using your Name Reading Sign-Up Sheet.
It’s a super simple Google spreadsheet that allows people to see and sign up for an available time slot that fits their schedule. Our design enables 2 people to sign up per 10-minute shift, but you can customize this to meet your needs (e.g. 2 people per 20-minute shift, especially for late night shifts).
A bit of math will tell you exactly how many people you need to recruit: anywhere from 10 to 250 people is the typical range depending on the length of your event. It might seem like a lot at first, but if you do a good job spreading the word, the shifts will fill up fast! By design, Behavioral Psychology will be working in your favor. Here’s why:
- The cause (genocide remembrance & prevention) is something most people strongly agree with in principle.
- The ask (10 minutes of someone’s time) is less than your average coffee (and bathroom) break.
- The venue (somewhere central in your community) should be just a few minutes away.
- The action (reading names aloud with hundreds in public) should generate positive peer pressure and social media buzz that makes people feel great about themselves.
If you’ve designed a longer name reading with overnight shifts, then we suggest using 20-minute shifts during those periods. Filling the late night/early morning shifts can sometimes be a challenge. Consider inviting partner organizations to “sponsor” particularly hard-to-fill hours in the night by asking its members to fill the shifts together in solidarity.
Create Your Local TWR Facebook Event
In addition to joining the global Facebook event, you should create a Facebook event for your local community. Be sure to share the link with us once you have it set up so we can post it in the global event. Here’s some guidance to follow:
- Make it a “public” event so that it can be found by anyone searching for it on Facebook.
- Use the following format for the event name: “Together We Remember: [Your Community Name/Location]”. For example: “Together We Remember: Duke University”.
- Add a banner photo for the event (we can provide a customizable template).
- Have a look at this article for some Facebook event best practices.
- Add an event description (template below).
#TogetherWeRemember is a citizen-led movement to end and prevent genocide and mass atrocities. On [insert date/time], the [insert your community name] community will join thousands worldwide to build the first digital memorial to commemorate the victims of genocide and celebrate the heroes who fought against it. We will organize a name-reading [insert any other activities] for [insert # hours] hours at [insert location] and share our community's experience live on social media with the hashtag #TogetherWeRemember. Our goal is to ignite an annual global tradition in which we unite communities representing every race and religion in solidarity, give voice to victims of genocide past and present, and inspire collective action for justice, memory, and peace.
Sign up to participate in the Name Reading here: [insert link to sign up sheet]
Watch this video to learn about our story and mission: [insert link to video]
Market the Event to VIPs (Phase I)
First invite hard-to-get individuals (let’s call them VIPs) to sign up for a Name Reading shift. These are leaders and public figures with a strong connection to your community that can help make the general public more eager to sign up:
- Political leaders: governor, mayor, city council, members of congress
- Religious leaders: rabbis, imams, priests, etc.
- School leaders: university president, school principal, deans, professors
- Athletic leaders: coaches, prominent players
- Celebrities: anyone famous with a connection to your community
You want to offer VIPs the most wide-ranging options to make it super easy for them to find just 10 minutes in their schedule. Send them personalized invitations via email and try to meet in person to make a persuasive case for why they should participate. Here is an email template that you can customize:
Dear [Name of Individual],
My name is [insert your name] and I [describe the org/community you represent]. Please join our community on [insert date of event] as we honor #TogetherWeRemember - a global day of remembrance and activism to end and prevent genocide and mass atrocities.
To demonstrate our community’s unwavering commitment to the promises of “Never Forget” and “Never Again,” we are hosting a public name reading ceremony at [insert location] from [insert time event begins] to [insert time event ends] and live streaming our experience in solidarity with thousands of others hosting similar events across the world.
We are inviting prominent community leaders such as yourself, to sign up for 10-minute name reading shifts before extending the invitation to the general public. You can find and reserve a time that fits your schedule here.
With your support, we can unite people representing every race and religion in solidarity, give voice to victims of genocide past and present, and inspire collective action for justice, memory, and peace.
Join us as we remember humanity at its worst to inspire humanity to be its best.
[insert your name]
Market the Event to the General Public (Phase II)
After giving VIPs time to sign up, you can shift your focus to the general public. You can even get VIPs and others that have signed up to market the event for you! It’s easy to ignore or say no to a general invitation from a stranger, but it’s much harder to say no to a friend or colleague - remember positive peer pressure! With that secret in mind, here are some of the most successful tactics that we’ve used:
Facebook Invites: Invite as many people as you can to your local Facebook event and encourage others to do the same. They can share the link in messages to their friends. Consider paying for Facebook ads to boost the event so thousands of people can see it. Follow up with additional actions and information via the attendee list. You can also ask people after they’ve signed up to post to Facebook, but provide a template for what they could post.
Emails: Make a list of all the listservs (email distribution lists) that your team has access to and a list of people / organizations that own other listservs that you might be able to forward a message to. Feel free to adapt previous email templates that we have provided in the Organizer’s Guide. Sometimes you may not be able to send a full email, but your event could be featured alongside others, so have a brief blurb (3-4 sentences + embedded links) ready to share. Don’t forget to invite VIPs and general people that have already signed up to invite people in their network - give them a brief email template or blurb + embedded links that would be super easy to forward from person to person.
In Person: Set up a table with signage and flyers in a place with lots of foot traffic and ask passersby to sign up to read names. You can have a tablet or laptop open with the sign up sheet so people can commit right away! You can also ask a VIP that usually speaks in front of large public audiences (e.g. a rabbi) to plug the event at the end of a speech.
Market the Event to Local Media (Phase III)
By now you should have some generated some buzz about TWR. Most members of your community should have heard about it through your marketing channels. There are a few additional steps you could take to really amplify awareness:
- Submit an op-ed about the event to your local school / city paper
- Write a guest-post for our TWR Blog
- Issue a press release to local media outlets
Your marketing blitz is in full force and people are starting to talk about TWR. With the event around the corner, all that’s left to do is…