January 22, 2018

Start the buzz with a campus activities ‘marketing street team’

If your Campus Activities Board doesn’t have a Marketing Street Team – form one now! With every campus event they should hit the ground running – and I do literally mean get their feet out on the streets of your campus and your community and make sure EVERYBODY knows.

Marketing Street Team - Photo Copyright 2011 Rick Sherrell

Your street team’s job is to spread the word, start the chatter, stir up the buzz, get everybody talking and make sure you can’t go anywhere without knowing about this event.

Pick some people for your street team who are enthusiastic, bold, gregarious, outgoing, friendly and fun so they can connect to people places and things without being annoying or obnoxious. They also have to make sure that people feel good about your event and know that if they show up the event will be at least fun and that they might even learn something.

Here’s a short task list of some things you can add to the mission of your Marketing Street Team… should they choose to accept it.

Launch a white board brigade.Hit the classrooms and write the details on every class’ white boards, listing the event, the time, location and details. You might want to check in with the individual professors on this. Wouldn’t want to tick anybody off!

Hang promotional posters or fliers. You may have to pay a few dollars to get them printed, but they should be all around campus and on bulletin boards. You might get them free at the campus printer or through a local sponsor. Check with the speaker, too. Many speakers will have a poster template available for you to use.

The Bathroom Brigade.They gotta go! EVERYBODY goes in there eventually so why not post your fliers or posters on the back of bathroom stall doors and right at eye-level for the guys. Talk about a captive audience!

Toss some Table Tents.Toss them on tables in the dining hall, the cafeteria, the library, the student lounge and, building lobbies and anywhere else you can thing of.

Pass out flyers the day of the event.Make sure you save some of you fliers for the day of the event. This could be your most important marketing time. You’ll get both the impulse buy and the folks who are just plain bored and looking for something to do. Make the rounds at lunch time or in other crowded places both on and off campus and give ‘em out like candy!

Hang door hangers. Go door to door to dorm rooms and class rooms the day before the event. Remember to stick to heavy traffic areas to get the most bang for your buck.

Try Ground-Chalking. Use sidewalk chalk – NOT paint or anything else permanent – to tag campus sidewalks, driveways and parking lots with your event’s details. Sidewalk chalk is very cheap and comes in many colors. It also washes off with water so wait until the day of the event or check the weather. It’s gone with the next rain or a quick hosing.

You probably won’t want to do all of these – that might be a little overkill – but just pick the ones that are most appropriate for your budget, your campus or your event. I know this is a technology-driven world but it’ll always work to get human minds, bodies and souls involved. Get the right crew and your Marketing Street Team can reach out and touch your student body – and pack the house at every event.


This series of posts will help you get better student turnout at all of your campus events and will work especially well for speaker-based events. Remember to always enlist the help your guest speaker or trainer in your promotional efforts. Look for powerful Student Learning Outcomes that lead to immediate or future success.

Series Navigation7 ways to turn your campus speaker into a promotional machine >>
About the Author: Rick Sherréll (12 Posts)

Rick Sherréll is the Blogitor (Blog Editor) here at CampusTalkBlog and agent for the college speakers at Pro Speakers Bureau. In his entrepreneurial life he has been a writer, editor, speaker, trainer, marketer, coach, IT specialist, consultant, event planner, broadcaster, fundraiser and innovator. Find out more at www.RickSherrell.com and www.ProSpeakersBureau.com/about.


  1. SANDWICH BOARDS — Excellent idea Dave. I don’t know if I’d want the job, but sandwich boards do work. They stand out and draw attention. Look for a volunteer personality that also knows how to draw attention and you’ll have a winning combination!

    FLYERS — Yes, they should be inexpensive if not free. Today’s desktop tech makes it so. In addition, many speakers will send you a professionally poroduced flyer or poster to promote their date. All you have to do is get it copied and plastered all over campus. (NO LITTERING PLEASE!). Dave, do you share anything with the student leaders that you train to help them promnote your training dates in advance?


  2. Rick, this is excellent stuff! Two other thoughts: 1) One of my most successful student groups used a sandwich board to promote their organization. One member would walk around campus wearing it and a couple of other members would follow along handing out flyers. This got a lot of attention and was different. The other is on flyers. They don’t have to be super expensive. With programs like Publisher, you can make great looking flyers, use pictures, and you can print them in your dorm room inexpensively. Buy a ream of pastel or other color paper for $5-6 and you can do something that really stands out.

Share your comments with us...