Does anyone know how to do publicity?

In about a month’s time, we’ll be ready to go live with the new site, publishing the new translations by yours truly. Most of it is all ready to go, and we are polishing and doing final touches.

I’m super happy with what we’ve done. I believe the translation is clear and accurate, and makes it easier to read the Buddha’s words. And the team has done an incredible job with the new site, it will be major step forward.

But one thing that no-one on our team is really good at, or has paid much attention to, is publicity. How do we tell people about what we’re doing? Press releases? Announcements on message boards? I really don’t know. My inclination is simply to do the work and let things fall out as they will. But I believe in the work we are doing, and I want it to reach a large audience.

So I’m wondering if anyone here has experience and skills in this area? Would someone like to take this up as a task, figure out how best to get the word out? I’d be happy to work with you to figure things out.

Please note, I’m not at the moment looking for ideas or suggestions as to what things we might do for publicity. Maybe later! But for now, I’m hoping to find a person who’d like to put some time and effort into this.

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We could promote it on Facebook :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m happy to use cyberspace and do it in the real world as well, around the network of temples in U.K.

With metta

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Seriously though if a short article about the project was written around 250 words I’d suggest getting it out to the different Buddhist Societies here in Australia. I know the BSSA members will be excited to hear the news and I would send it out on our mailing list.

Maybe you could post a short article here, with a link to a longer article based here, and crowd source the dispersement of information. Everyone here has their networks. It’s less work for one person then too.

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What this person suppose to do?
How many hours per week s/he has to spend on this?

And the award for winner of the internet goes to … :trophy:

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Thanks everyone for their input. Yes, all good ideas, and we may well follow up on them, but for the moment I’m interested to talk to someone about different approaches and methods.

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Having gained what am I happy, having lost what am I sad? :smile:

with metta

I’ve been thinking this over a bit further and although I have some experience with doing what you need I just don’t have the time and mental capacity right now to follow it through. So I thought I might start an outline. It could be made a wiki to be edited and collaborated on or just ignore it all :slight_smile:


Who:

Define your demographic:
English reading (Theravadin?) Buddhists

Build a database... a google docs sheet will do.
Contact name organisation website email online/offline/both contact date response

Break it into sections including:

Why:

To let people know about the New, easy to read translation of the Buddha's teachings by Bhante Sujato on Sutta Central.

The new design as a minor point.

What:

* super short copy suitable for social media (250 characters with tiny link to long copy)
* short copy PR suitable for a small column in a newsletter (print or e)- 200 words
* Personalised mailout asking people to share the press release with their audience * Postcards to hand out a Mitra conference?
* A4 Poster as pdf using super short copy
* Single page website 300-400 words (or a page on D&D) with a bit more info about the project, who and how to contact for media enquiries plus a short bio on Bhante.

Where:

online- Social media, message boards, mailing lists, blogs.... as per above
offline- magazines, pdf A4 posters suitable for printing and puting up in buddhist centres.

When:

Launch date:??? Deadlines for printing if anything is being printed ie postcards.
Lead times for offline media When to send out social media When to do general email mailout (by category?)
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Nice start, thanks.

We can add our video promo to this list, graced with Nadine’s voiceover!

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This could be both on Youtube, the long copy page and on that blue website which we’ve all deleted our accounts from :wink: .

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Quite comprehensive Pasanna! It’s difficult to target so maybe better to go for a broad based approach- we simply don’t know who will use the link.

Apart from that I would add that certain temples have emailing lists or donor lists. Emails can be distributed among them. Also cards for temple notice boards might be of some use.

When print copies become available they could be gifted to temples, I hope. Chain mail …er… no. As for that blue site I already post with the link to SC at the bottom of some of my posts!

With metta

Thank you for the early morning giggles, Anagarika Pasanna! I hope you’re doing well. :blush:

I don’t have any experience or skills in this area, but I certainly would be willing to help, and/or team up with someone who does in fact know what they’re doing. :slight_smile:

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You need to pay money to get advertorials in big newspapers or niche sites about buddhism. Press releases are cheap but will have no traffic, nobody will find out. Press releases are usually done for SEO (to get backlinks) on relatively cheap sites with high google page authority, only newspaper publishings are done for traffic.

Honestly I have no idea how this should be promoted in a buddhist field. In any case it would be good to have a big article in a big newspaper or a couple of them. In my country such things are cheap, ranging from 150$ to 1000$ in biggest newspaper/tv sites. In USA it might cost more, so I supposed it would be better to pay for niche buddhist sites. Maybe they will even do it for free in case it is a big event.

In order to be a big event, there needs to be a compiled version of the nikayas, otherwise it’s totally useless and invisible in terms of publicity. This needs to be a new nikaya translation, on par with B.Bodhi one, done for free, etc. This is how it should be presented, as something big, not as a simple “B.Sujato just finished completing all the suttas on his website”. You need a prinded book with a cover, even if it’s not gona be sold, it’s important for the image. People will reed it online, but you need a real world book too.

Also, the suttas are half useless for practical proposes if they are not compiled into a book. They are only good for quoting them on forums or searching a particular sutta on a google. A person who wants to read the whole book will need it structured in a particular way, with a table of contents, etc. It is ridiculous to do such a titanic job of translating the nikayas, but not have them assambled into books.

PS: If I were to have such a titanic work finally completed, I would not waste this oportunity that I have to give a big slap to Wisdom Corporation. I would pay a couple of grand to get articles on super important sites, and never forget to mention how this new version of the sutta pitaka is free, not 200$. It would be advertised as “the first free version of sutta pitaka - now all can have access to the dhamma, even those without money” or “first suta pitakka completely free, with no profits intended” - something like that

PS 2: If there is no time at the moment to publish a printed version and launch a decent publicity campaign, then I think it can still be done at a later moment and nothing is lost. They can be published on the site for now, have basically zero publicity, and do a serious campaing a couple of months from now when they will be compiled into a book and print something like 10 versions. And why not even distribute something like 30 printed versions for free just to put the cherry on top of the publicity campaign, despite not having printed versions avaliable for sale. Or if you do have printed versions avaliable for sale, they should be at least half the price of wisdom corporation or even a quarter, done somewhere in myanmar/thailand/china or some poor country close to australia. And of course make sure to stress how “they only cost the production costs and the online version if of course free”

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When I learned marketing at the uni. what I understood was it is better to build a customer based in your home country before launch in overseas.
Now, in this case, home country are places such as Sri Lanka and Burma etc.
Perhaps it is cheaper to promote in those countries.
Many people in Sri Lanka even do not know they can read Sutta in Sinhalese in Sutta Central.
This should be a project to promote Sutta Central, Bhante’s Sujato’s translation.
This also should aim at all Buddhists.
If we do this it would appeal to a wider audience.
You can test my proposal by a sample publicity.
Just do a trial publicity in a local news paper and a few Sri Lankan temples and mearsure the trafic flow.

I think the main news worthy point is the new translations. These have been done in (plain) English. Hence why I chose the above demo.

New website designs launch every 5 rminutes but the translation project is something unique for a variety of reasons.
The speed it was done.
The lack of copyright
The plain Englishness

(Probably in reverse order of importance).

Thanks everyone for caring, but to repeat myself:

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There were once some mice who held a meeting about how to defend themselves from the cat. A certain wise mouse said, ‘A bell should be tied around the neck of the cat so that we would be able to hear him wherever he goes and have advance warning of his attacks.’ They all agreed with this proposal. A mouse then asked, ‘Who will tie the bell around the cat’s neck?’ One mouse answered, ‘Not me, that’s for sure!’ Another answered: 'Not me either! I wouldn’t so much as go near that cat for anything in the world!'
http://mythfolklore.net/aesopica/oxford/250.htm

I think that would the best option, just let the quality of the work and website do it magics by word-of-mouth. No need to do publicity in my opinion.

I think some publicity would be useful, for purposes of disseminating the Dhamma which was what the project was about. Fortunately the Buddha didn’t keep the Dhamma to himself!

I would consider having a group of people rather than a single person. Stakeholders should have a say, and this includes donors, people who have put in significant amounts of time and effort should be involved. Besides, I always find that I get 25% more fresh ideas if heads are put together. It reduces monopoly, personal idiosyncrasies etc. Senior members should be consulted and have the most say, I presume.

with metta

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