Naka-Kon PR and Marketing Department Guidelines
Convention Advertising - Choosing Conventions
Conventions shall be located within a 350 mile radius of Kansas City, Missouri. This is to ensure reasonable driving times for staff attending conventions, and to ensure reasonable driving times for attendees reached at these conventions to drive to Naka-Kon.
Conventions shall be chosen based on:
- Focus of convention (anime, gaming, science fiction, etc.)
- Convention attendance (number of potential attendees reached)
- Pre-registrations gathered from any given convention in the past
- At-kon survey data about where attendees heard about Naka-Kon
- Past Naka-Kon attendance at any given convention
- Table swap requests
- Budget constraints
An effort shall be made to determine how many attendees conventions expect, and an effort shall also be made to determine how convention staff arrive at this number. For example, Tokyo in Tulsa boasts 4,000 attendees, but that convention counts attendees as 'number of people in the door each day,' not 'number of registered individuals,' making it much less attractive for Naka-Kon to advertise at given its distance from Kansas City.
Anime conventions are preferred to other types of conventions, but other types of conventions will also be considered depending on the other criteria listed above.
Conventions within three months of Naka-Kon are particularly preferable, because guest announcements are powerful attendee attracters. Local events are also particularly preferable, including non-convention events such as JapanFest. However, the Independence Cherry Blossom Festival, while local, did not gather much interest from people who had not already attended Naka-Kon, so advertising at this event is not recommended.
Requests for convention advertising shall be included in the PR and marketing department budget proposal.
Convention Advertising - Budget Allotment
The PR and Marketing budget shall pay for the following for each convention:
- Gas, tolls and parking for one vehicle to attend each convention
- One at-door-price badge for up to four staff members
- One hotel room at a hotel located within one mile of the convention for two nights
- One rollaway bed if required
These costs will be reflected in the PR and marketing department budget proposal.
Convention Advertising - Choosing Staff Members
Staff members with Naka-Kon-related business at any given convention shall have preference for attending that convention. I.e.: if the guest director needs to speak with a guest at a convention and requests to go, he or she will have priority over someone who does not have Naka-Kon-related business at that convention.
Consideration will also be given to staff members who wish to help advertise Naka-Kon but live outside the Kansas City area if the staff member can transport himself or herself to the convention.
Directors shall be given preference over general staff members. This is to ensure cash box and bag policies are able to be carried out at all times, since counts must be made of each open cash box or bag by a director every hour. Directors which have shown excellent public relations skills will also be given preference to directors who are not as comfortable speaking to convention attendees.
Convention Advertising - Staff Requirements
Each staff member must work at least six hours at the Naka-Kon booth, and preferably more if possible. Duties will include, but are not limited to:
- Chatting with attendees about Naka-Kon
- Handing out freebies such as pens, stickers and flyers
- Running a raffle for Naka-Kon shirts, dog tags and badges
- Facilitating convention pre-registration
Staff members are also strongly encouraged to volunteer for the convention to promote positive inter-convention relations, preferably in a Naka-Kon staff shirt to promote additional awareness with attendees. Staff members are also encouraged to volunteer to gain badge reimbursement to lower convention advertising costs at conventions where staff members do not receive complementary badges.
Press - Pitching Reporters
It shall be the responsibility of the director of PR and marketing to create and distribute a media kit to members of the press in the Kansas City area. The media kit shall include, but is not limited to:
- News release
- Fact sheet
- Backgrounder on convention
- Backgrounder on guests
- Three high-resolution photos of the previous year's convention
- Three identical low-resolution photos of the previous year's convention
- Document with photo information, including date taken, location, photographer name and caption
- High-resolution Naka-Kon logo
- Low-resolution Naka-Kon logo
The director of PR and marketing shall make an effort to pitch one named reporter at each news outlet deemed applicable for pitching because personalized pitches tend to produce better results than generic pitches. Preference shall be given to reporters who have covered Naka-Kon in previous years.
Newspapers, including school newspapers and radio stations within 350 miles of Kansas City, Missouri will be targeted for pitches. Influential anime and convention blogs and news sites will also be targeted for pitches.
It shall be the responsibility of the director of PR and marketing to track which news outlets have covered the convention and keep records of this coverage.
The Naka-Kon media kit may also be distributed via a paid wire service such as PR Web, preferably in a social media optimized format which is more accessible to search engines than traditional formats. Requests for paid wire service media kit submission shall be included in the PR and marketing department budget proposal.
Press - At-Convention Press Guidelines
To increase Naka-Kon's visibility to the public, single-day, full access press badges shall be given to any verified member of the press that requests one. To verify status as press, each member of the press must present one of the following:
- Photo identification which lists a name on the press pitch list
- Up to two associates of pitched reporters may also receive press badges on the word of the pitched reporter
- Press identification badge
- Photo identification and newspaper article or photo with their byline
- News channel branded camera/microphone
Other forms of identification must be cleared with the director of PR and marketing before a press badge is issued to members of the press. For example, bloggers may be considered members of the press, but the director of PR and marketing must review the blog before the blogger is issued a press pass.
The director of PR and marketing shall issue press badges and escort members of the press on request unless he or she is indisposed, in which case his or her designated PR and marketing staff member will issue press badges and escort members of the press on request.
Press passes shall be stamped with the day of the convention so the press may not return for free for a second day. A list of members of the press who have attended the convention, and the organizations they belong to, shall be kept by the director of PR and marketing so badges are not issued to the same news outlet on multiple days.
Extraconventional Events - Proposals
Extraconventional events are events hosted by Naka-Kon staff for Naka-Kon attendees and their friends. These events shall have the goal of breaking even. Re-Kon, the reunion picnic hosted each summer, is an example of an extraconventional event.
Extraconventional events shall be proposed to the director of PR and marketing by any staff member. Proposals shall include, but may not be limited to:
- Proposed name for event
- Detailed description of event
- Detailed description of contests and prizes, if any
- Full budget for event, including reservation costs and attendee fees
- Proposed date and time of event
- Expected number of attendees
- Contingency plan if more or less attendees than expected come to the event
- Plan for disposing of event materials (such as food) if not used at the event, if applicable
- Applicable event location rules and regulations
- Number of staff members needed to run event
If event proposals are accepted by the director of PR and marketing, they will then be submitted to the convention committee for final approval.
Because extraconventional events require their own proposals, proposals for extraconventional events will not be included in the PR and marketing department budget proposal.
Extraconventional Events - Preparation
Preparation for extraconventional events shall be completed by the director and staff of the PR and marketing department. Preparation may include, but is not limited to:
- Reserving event location
- Purchasing materials necessary for the event
- Requesting items from the convention storage unit
- Requesting cash box seeder money from the budget department
- Coordinating RSVPs to the event
- Posting event announcements on the Naka-Kon Web site, Twitter, Facebook and the Naka-Kon forums
- Sending updates to confirmed attendees via Twitter, Facebook, the Naka-Kon forums and/or e-mail
All event announcements and attendee updates shall be written and/or approved by the director of PR and marketing. Announcements and updates may be posted to official channels by the director of PR and marketing at any time.
Updates may be sent out to attendees via forum private message, Facebook message, and/or e-mail only once every seven days to decrease attendee inbox clutter and annoyance unless more frequent messaging is approved by the director of PR and marketing. Circumstances for more frequent messaging approval may include, but are not limited to event date changes, event location changes, or event rule changes.
Extraconventional Events - Staffing
Staff should make up approximately 10 percent of extraconventional event attendees to ensure non-staff attendees are well-supervised. If this is not possible, the event may be cancelled due to lack of proper supervision.
Staff will not be expected to pay for entry to extraconventional events that only require a location reservation fee, except for in cases where the event is not expected to break even due to an unexpectedly small attendee turnout. Staff will be expected to pay for entry to extraconventional events that require an entry fee, such as entry into an amusement park.
The director of PR and marketing shall be responsible for directing the design and ordering of convention promotional materials, which will include flyers and at least one type of free item. Free items may include, but are not limited to:
Free items may not exceed $.50 apiece. This will ensure that as many people as possible receive promotional items.
Promotional materials shall be designed and ordered no later than 20 business days before their first use. Promotional materials may be either year-specific or non-year-specific.
Flyers shall include the following:
- Location of upcoming Naka-Kon (hotel, city, state)
- Date of upcoming Naka-Kon
- Dated or undated Naka-Kon logo
- Theme of upcoming Naka-Kon (e.g. "Otaku are Everywhere," "For the Love of Anime")
- Follow @NakaKon on Twitter
- Friend Naka-Kon on Facebook
- Announced guests, if applicable
Flyers per convention should equal approximately 20 percent of anticipated attendees. At least 2,000 and no more than 3,000 additional flyers should be ordered for use by convention staff at other conventions they wish to attend which will not otherwise have a Naka-Kon presence.
Free items per convention should equal between 20 and 50 percent of anticipated attendees, depending on cost of free items and promotional material budget.
Requests for promotional materials shall be included in the PR and marketing department budget proposal.
Anime Club Promotion Kits
The director of PR and marketing shall be responsible for creating and mailing promotional registration kits via a flat-rate Priority Mail package (or less expensive alternative) to the first 30 anime clubs of 10 or more members that are approached by Naka-Kon staff members or sign up for them. Promotional registration kits shall include:
- One letter of welcome and explanation of kit
- One pre-registration form for each member of the club
- One Naka-Kon t-shirt
- At least 50 convention flyers
- One promotional item for each member of the club
Requests for anime club promotion kits shall be included in the PR and marketing department budget proposal.
Convention Program Book Advertising
The director of PR and marketing shall be responsible for the design, purchase and submission of program book advertising at conventions which Naka-Kon wishes to have a presence at but cannot afford to send representatives to.
Requests for program book advertising will be included in the PR and marketing department budget proposal.
Social Media Contact Policies
Social media is here defined as any online social network where Naka-Kon interacts with its attendees in an official capacity outside of official Naka-Kon channels, which include the Naka-Kon Web site and the Naka-Kon forums. Social media platforms include, but are not limited to:
It is the duty of the director of PR and marketing to share information relevant to attendees' interests on these platforms. Naka-Kon staff members may not post to these channels under the Naka-Kon username except under the express permission of the director of PR and marketing. This ensures that messages will have a consistent tone and message quality.
The PR and marketing director may not use these platforms to promote personal interests. However, these platforms may be used to share information with attendees that relates to Naka-Kon, such as anime industry news. This ensures that Naka-Kon stays top-of-mind with attendees by posting frequently, but does not mark Naka-Kon as a spam-generating convention.
The PR and marketing director will make every effort to post to Twitter and Facebook at least once every two weeks, and to distribute messages in a timely manner.