Auctions are fun and people want to talk about them. Auctions also involve a large number of partners such as: artists, donors, sponsors, venues, committees, patrons and event staff. By providing everyone with a clear and simple way to talk about the auction to their networks, you can reach an enormous number of people with relative ease.
1. Comms Pack
A communications pack (comms pack) contains all the key information needed to promote your auction: why is it happening, what is for sale, who is involved, when is it happening, and how to get involved.
The best comms packs present the information in a format that makes it incredibly easy for the reader to use. For example:
- Draft emails for them to copy and paste
- Visuals ready to share on their social media (See more on 'How to create promotional content')
- PDF invitations for in-person auctions
- Auction URL links with a clear call to action e.g. 'Auction happening now: View all lots'
We've created a template comms pack for you to use.
- Make sure your auction page is live before you share your comms pack. You want to give people a direct 'Call to action' such as registration or bidding.
- The more engaging the content, such as a video (see example here), the more excited partners will be to share it. See more on 'How to create promotional content'.
2. Newsletters / Dear Friends...
If you have an established newsletter, be sure to invite your subscribers to take part in the auction. But don't forget about your closer network of friends and family, particularly if you are running a fundraising auction that you know they will be keen to support.
Take time to draft an email based on your comms pack and include messaging asking them to share the auction with their contacts too. They might not be able to bid themselves but they can support in other ways by helping connect you to others.
- If sending a group email, don't forget to blind copy (BCC) everyone to avoid sharing everyone's email address.
3. Auction Champions
It always helps to have a few influential champions lined up to support your auction. This can range from a friend with a large social following agreeing to promote your auction to a brand sponsor that will include the auction in their newsletter.
- Auction Ambassadors / Champions (individual supporters with large networks/influence)
- Auction Committee (a group of supporters that help with the auction strategy - from gathering lots to selling the auction)
- Auction Curators (a network of individuals that help gather auction lots)
- Auction Sponsors (e.g. a drinks sponsor for an event)
Be thoughtful, gracious and tactical when asking people to support your auction. Put together a package of things you can offer them in return. For example:
- Interview opportunities
- Logo placement
- A special thanks across social media and your newsletter
- Reciprocal promotion of their event/product
Before you start working together, clarify in writing the type of support you expect when the auction goes live. Don't assume anything.