Having a good topic of science will definitely help publicity. Our Publicity Committee always works closely with our Outreach Committee together to determine what events could possibly get more attention from the public on science. One of our successes is a Cooking Chemistry event that occurred in April. We found a passionate chef who appreciates the art of chemistry in cooking and was willing to do a cooking demo night for us. It’s all about teamwork beginning at this stage. Our local section got the education part of chemistry covered and the chef applied it simultaneously in front of public audiences. Everyone was curious about how chemistry is related to tasty food and they had a chance to experience how important different ingredients and preparation methods are.
The venue, a high school cafeteria with most kitchenware handy, was also the high school from which the chef graduated. The district science coordinator allowed us to use this location for free. This greatly reduced the cost of the event for us, which was free to the public. We created e-flyers and sent them to all emails on our contact list, ranging from students to ACS members and those who subscribe to our newsletter. We also posted some paper flyers publicly, such as at the local libraries and Community Center. We also sent out specific emails and made phone calls to our local media (radio station) and newspaper agencies to ask for their help in promoting and covering the event.
Since our target was students from middle through high school, we contacted local science teachers to promote the event as well. Some of them provided extra credit for students who attended the event on that night. The Bay City Science coordinator also used a district-wide parent contact system to send out a reminder to each household the day of the event. As a result, we had a large turnout,and the local newspaper sent a reporter and a photographer to capture the highlights in their newspaper. The event was also publicized that night on-line. Nothing could have been done without joint committee efforts, community collaboration and our networking resources. We heard good feedback from people and that will keep us motivated to promote science in similar ways!
Here are links to pre- and post-event coverage:
Submitted on behalf of the Midland Section of the ACS by Eva Li and Amy Tesolin-Gee, Co-chairs of Publicity Committee.