Our Stories, Our Lives

Promotional Toolkit

Congratulations on your recent grant award! This document will remind you of the importance of promoting your grant-funded project to your community, legislators, media and friends of your organization. If at any time you need assistance while fulfilling grant requirements, please call the Michigan Humanities Council at (517) 372-7770.

The Michigan Humanities Council and the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs are two separate organizations that need to be credited by using the appropriate language outlined in the contract, and logos must be on all publicity materials. In addition, mention of funding from these two organizations should be included in speaking engagements for the grant project.

Many Michiganians are unaware of the long-term impact your programs have on the quality of life in your community. This impact extends beyond a quality arts or cultural experience, but includes employee and business retention, cultural tourism, educational impact and various forms of economic impact. Crediting MHC and MCACA and explaining who we are helps your community understand the impact and importance of public funding on the arts and humanities.

Photo and Event Submissions to MHC

MHC would be happy to assist in promotion of your Touring Grant-funded events. To do so, we must be kept up-to-date on your programs in a timely fashion. We can list events on our statewide calendar, website, special mailings and social media accounts.

Also remember to submit photos of your programs. We use the photos to show the strength of our funded programs by including them in our newsletters, annual reports, social media postings and much more. You can submit these photos at any time to Karen Rhodes, Grants & IT Manager, at krhodes@mihumanities.org. When submitting, please include photo credit if required.

Publicize Project Activities

It is extremely important that you remember to include logos and credit for both the Michigan Humanities Council and Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs on all publicity materials and broadcast promotion. Copies of all materials must be sent to the Michigan Humanities Council office with your final report. Where printed materials are not used, this support must be delivered verbally before each activity. Verbal acknowledgement should be included in your final report.

As you know, the Touring Program relies primarily on state funding to make grants available to nonprofit organizations. By recognizing the Council, MCACA and your organization in your publicity efforts, you are increasing your visibility, the Council’s, and MCACA’s, and creating more opportunity for increased revenue and support for the Touring Program.

Ways to publicize your project:

  • Social Media Accounts – such as Facebook and Twitter
    • Post updates to your accounts and post information on the walls/pages of organizations who may be interested in attending your event or helping promote.
    • Tag the MHC (on Facebook @MichiganHumanitiesCouncil and Twitter @mihumanities) and we’ll share the information!
  • Newsletters – print and online
  • Letters home to parents
  • Press releases – let the media know what you’re doing in your community!
  • Encourage your local media to attend your events. If they can’t make it to your event, report back to them and encourage them to do a follow-up story, and share with them the impact of your grant.
  • Flyers
  • Invitations – who are the VIPs in your community? Share the great work you’re doing by inviting a select group to the event, such as your board members, donors, close friends and community leaders.
  • Invite an MHC/MCACA board member or executive director to speak at one of your events or functions. Invite the press to that event.
  • Write an opinion/editorial piece for your local newspaper or on social media sites expressing the importance of state arts and humanities funding to programs in your community, especially the impact arts and humanities have on the economy and education.
  • Contact your local board of education. Your local schools may also have a newsletter they mail to parents or to all residents in your district. You may want to do an article for them about the educational impact of your MHC and MCACA supported project.

Correspond With Your State Senator and State Representative

Since the Touring Program is funded by state appropriation, we strongly encourage you to invite your state senator and state representative via invitation or fax to the touring performance or presentation. Even though you believe they may not attend, advising them of programs in their state or district is beneficial and noteworthy. A sample invitation is attached.

It is also strongly encouraged that you send a thank you letter to your state legislators. It is vital that you inform your state senator and representative(s) about the impact this program had in your community and that it is extremely important that the state continues to support arts and cultural funding.

 Send a Notice to Parents

For programs presented at schools, we encourage you to advise all teachers and to send a note to parents about the performance. In the note, indicate the program was funded in part by MHC, MCACA, and your organization. Also, include an article in your school newsletter referencing MHC and MCACA support.

 Arts & Humanities Touring Program Communications Contact

Carol Taggart, Communications Officer for MHC, is the publicity contact for the Touring Program. If you have any questions or need assistance in developing publicity materials or to market your project/activities, please contact her by phone (517-372-0029 ext. 31 or 517-372-7770) or by email (ctaggart@mihumanities.org).

 Example Letters and Guides

 Writing a News Release

According to the Michigan Press Association, five points are important to a good news release: Who, What, Where, Why and When. If possible a sixth, How, should be included.

It is important to get all of these points in the first sentence of your story. This is called the “lead” of the story. A good lead captures the attention of the reader and makes him or her want to know more about the story.

After the lead, get into the important details of the story. Each succeeding paragraph should be of declining importance. This is what is known as the “inverted pyramid” style of writing. It permits the editor to pick up the important facts of the story in the first few lines. Then, if the editor does not have space or time to use the whole release, it can be cut from the bottom, where the least important information should be given.

Be sure to check with the editor concerning their photo policies. Always include a caption stating who, what, where, why and when.

Tips

  • Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs. Two sentences make a paragraph in a good news story.
  • Be brief. Almost every news release can be written on one maybe two double spaced pages.
  • Always give the exact date in the news release. Specify the month (e.g. October 10) rather than saying “next month.”
  • List addresses as well as the name of the meeting place. Remember, you are writing for people who may not know your organization.
  • Using figures? Spell out one to nine, use numerals from 10 up. Don’t begin a sentence with a number.
  • Forget adjectives.
  • Never guess. Check every point of your release for accuracy, especially on times, places and names.
  • Be brave. Don’t be afraid to suggest something new if you honestly believe you have a workable idea.
  • Be prompt in meeting deadlines. If copy has to be in the hands of the editor by 2 p.m. Wednesday, do it.

 Invite Your State Legislators – SAMPLE LETTER

 

April 1, 2015

 

The Honorable John Doe
Michigan House of Representatives
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909

Dear Representative Doe,

I am writing you to invite you and your staff to a performance of our annual Summer-In-The-Park Performance Series hosted by the Smithsville Community Center. These cultural performances, which are a culturally educational and entertaining tradition in our community, are supported in part by the Michigan Humanities Council and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

The Summer-In-The-Park Performance Series features individuals and groups which help bring Michigan’s rich cultural history to the public. The community has expressed its support of the program with great attendance each year.

Our event is scheduled to begin at noon on April 15, 2012, at the Smithsville Park Gazebo. The City of Smithsville and the Smithsville Community Center would love to share this performance with either you or a member of your staff. And, if you would like, we would be more than willing to include you in our ceremony.

Thank you for your time and attention. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,


Thank Your State Legislators – SAMPLE LETTER

 

April 1, 2015

 

The Honorable Jane Doe
Michigan Senate
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909

Dear Senator Doe,

I am writing you to inform you of an opportunity provided by the Michigan Humanities Council and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs to bring several live cultural performances to Smith Elementary School this summer. The school hosted a concert that provided students an opportunity to work with professional musicians/cultural entertainers and perform their songs before parents, teachers, friends and other citizens of the community.

The grants, made possible through the Arts & Humanities Touring Program, provides schools, library, museums, civic and service groups, festival organizers and other organizations in Michigan a wide variety of cultural programming opportunities. These programs are of the highest quality as represented by the tremendous response and support at our school.

Smith Elementary school is very appreciative of your continued support to help enhance the cultural experiences of our youth.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

 

Notice to Parents – SAMPLE LETTER

 

April 1, 2015

Parents of Smithsville Elementary School:

This letter is to inform you of the recent live cultural performance by John Doe on March 1, 2012. Mr. Doe is a musician listed in the Arts and Humanities Touring Program, a program which provides financial support to schools and cities across Michigan. This support, provided by the Michigan Humanities Council and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) helped to make the performance by Mr. Doe possible.

It is our hope you will take the time to learn more about the Council and MCACA, and if possible, to write a letter to your state legislator to inform our elected officials of the positive impact on our children provided by events supported by the Arts and Humanities Touring Program.

To learn more about the Michigan Humanities Council, please link on the Internet to http://michiganhumanities.org

or call 517-372-7770. For more information about the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, please link to http://www.michiganbusiness.org/community/council-arts-cultural-affairs/ or call 517-241-4011. And, for more information about Michigan Arts & Humanities Touring Program, visit http://michiganhumanities.org or call 517-372-7770.

Thank you.

Address

119 Pere Marquette Drive, Suite 3B,
Lansing, MI 48912
p: 517-372-7770
f: 517-372-0027