Marketing and publicity
Spread the word about the project in your area.
Ping! began life as a street table tennis festival. This placed significant emphasis on high profile events, press coverage and publicity campaigns. These days, all your work should be geared towards long-term impact and behaviour change.
To deliver these long-term goals you may still see value in raising the profile of your work through events, festivals, marketing and PR campaigns. These can all take significant time and energy, so it’s important to focus on the work that matters most.
This page talks you through the different ways you can make a splash, get press coverage and raise the profile of recreational table tennis.
Strictly speaking you don’t actually need to organise any events as part of your Ping! project. If the tables are in great locations and the promotion of these and other ‘Play On’ opportunities nearby are done well, people will play time and time again. However, a programme of organised activity, starting with a launch party, can help draw attention to your project, and enable you achieve your aims.
The good news is that, Ping! is a self-promoting project and its own publicity machine. As the tables are situated in public spaces, they’re hard to miss. Passers-by will see the tables and simply start playing.
However, it’s also important to promote your project through the most appropriate channels. Working out the best approach to do this can be daunting, so we recommend spending some time writing a short marketing plan to help you spend your marketing budget in the most impactful way. It’s really worth spending a little time planning this now so you stay focused further down the line.
Your marketing plan should include a list of target audiences, channels that’ll reach each of these and then a list of marketing activity to be implemented, when this will be actioned and who by.
Branding and logos
Branding on tables, signage, marketing material and website is consistent and is provided by the central Ping! team. We’ll provide you with an electronic copy of the logo for you to use in all appropriate PR and marketing material.
Please do not change the logo in any way and always try to leave some white space around the logo so that it stands alone.
Tables are branded with vinyl transfers which include: Ping! logo, key partner logos (Sport England and Table Tennis England), local partner logos (city/town councils and/or CSP), website name and table manners asking people to play nicely.
Digital Media Channels
Promote your project through the Ping! website and social media channels. If you wish to have a news items or event promoted on the Ping! page then please email us with your request.
Using existing online channels
Your organisation will already have an online presence and an established following across various social channels, so ask your communications team to include some messaging around your project within their scheduling.
Ping! tone of voice
Whether you’re writing a post for Facebook, a news event for the website or a press release, the message is the same and the Ping! voice needs to be consistent. Ping!’s aim is to bring table tennis to the streets, for free and for everyone, it’s fun and it brings the community together and its objective is for ping pong to continue to be available and to engage the community all year round. So, whatever you’re writing keep this in mind.
Social media is bigger than just Facebook these days, although Facebook and Twitter are good places to start! Ping! will use their central Ping! England social media accounts to help promote your project and your local online profiles. We recommend that if you already have a significant following and engagement on your existing social media platforms for your organisation, then you use these to promote your project. However you may wish also to get your own dedicated audience by setting up a unique social media profiles, for your Ping! City and use it to promote:
• Your launch event
• Regular and one-off events
• Table locations
To get coverage on the Ping! England accounts:
• Appoint someone in the team to look after social media and ask them to connect with us
• Make sure @ping_tweets (on Twitter) and @pingengland (on Facebook) are tagged on your posts – we will share and retweet
You could promote your social media accounts in the following ways:
• Printed literature
• Your council website
• Message other local Facebook group or pages/Twitter accounts/Bloggers and suggest they like/follow you
• Email out the link to friends and family in the area
• Get table hosts and partners to include links on their sites
Also, encourage table hosts / regular players to set up Facebook groups or pages for specific tables (like London Fields). These don’t need to be complicated or time consuming, but they create an online message board for local communication.
The public have found the easiest way to communicate with their local Ping! city is through Twitter – whether it’s to report missing/damaged equipment, search for playing partners, organise their own events, send feedback and comments to Ping! team or share pictures and videos.
Therefore, we highly recommend setting up a local Twitter account. The correct use of hashtags can get you noticed by people who would not normally be aware of you.
Ping! also has its own YouTube account and we’d be happy to upload your videos from the project on here if you email them to us.
Remember, each of your table host organisations will be doing their own marketing – they will have leaflets and newsletters and email lists – in which they can publicise their own special Ping! events and Ping! in general. Ask them what communications you could be a part of and when the deadlines are to submit copy.
Your partners will all have their own email lists, newsletters, leaflets that they produce. Why not pop an email to all of them to ask them if Ping! could be included and if so, what kind of space for copy/photos you are able to use and when their copy deadlines are. Again, make sure to provide them with your Ping! web address/Twitter/Facebook details so they can add links from their online resources.
Ping! creates stories that local press love
Each Ping! city is expected to send local press releases out to as many local news desks, features desks, sports desks, on and offline listings, local magazines, local television companies etc as possible. You may need support from your communications team to amend and distribute widely.
Every city has created a real buzz in local media previously. Widespread press coverage will ensure the public know what’s happening and how they can get involved.
Invite the press to attend your launch, key events and/or a specially organised press photo call in the build-up to the launch. Be very clear what the photo opportunity is, and the headlines about Ping! in your city. Please share press clippings and photographs with us so these can be included in the national evaluation report we submit to Sport England.
Most cities have local listings magazines and websites. Research the most popular ones in your area and find out what their deadlines are. Supply them with information in time for inclusion. If you’ve got some locations or events that sound exciting, this can be a great way to grab the public’s attention.
Running targeted promotional campaigns
There are other ways to promote your project to the public. You should think carefully about who you want to reach and how best to reach them. You may feel that it is worth allocating some budget to promote the citywide project through a local radio commercial or via big screens in the city centre.
We recommend these campaigns promote the whole project. Include the start date, key event locations and dates and whatever else you think will grab the attention of the wider public. The aim is to raise the profile of table tennis, especially to those who don’t already play.
Additionally, you may want to create some more targeted campaigns to promote specific locations throughout a neighbourhood, or to attract volunteers.
To promote specific locations there’s no point promoting to the whole city, but you will be able to reach your target audience by putting up information on local noticeboards, distributing via local community groups, ‘friends of’ groups or tenants/residents’ associations.