Erin's tips for sharing your party kit with the local community
Erin Rhoads (aka The Rogue Ginger) the zero-waste blogger and author, is an invaluable champion for the Party Kit Network Australia. She also runs a party kit for her local community in Victoria, Australia.
Want to know how to reach more people? Erin shares her tips for getting the word out about your party kit locally.
Print posters and put them up
The Party Kit Network members section has a poster template that can be easily printed off at home or at somewhere like Officeworks. With permission I have put up a poster at two childcare centres in my neighbourhood. Another option is asking local independent businesses if they will allow posters in their shop windows. Zero-waste stores are often very willing to support local waste initiatives, such as party kits.
(Note: For access to the members' area please see the confirmation email you received from Isabel when you first registered your party kit or contact us).
Posting in a Facebook group
The Party Kit Network members section also have social media graphics you can download and use. There are also some on our media page.
I plan to share one into a local Parents/Mothers Facebook group a week before July. Why a week before July? Well, it's Plastic Free July and there will be some media stories around the challenge so people (and media) will be talking about reducing plastic. The caption for my post will probably go like this:
Since Plastic Free July is around the corner, I thought I'd let other Mummas know I have a reusable party kit for hire to help families cut down on single-use plastics at their kid's parties. My kit has kid friendly plates, cups, bowls, cups, cutlery, water jug, decorations and more. You can book my kit by searching the map for 'xxx' on the partykitnetwork.org website. Oh, and share this website with your family and friends, there are kits all over Australia too.
Be sure to follow any group rules or request permission from the group admin if its the rules on posting are not clear.
A story in your local newspaper and magazines
Journalists are always looking for interesting stories to write about and your party kit could be their next scoop. The impacts of plastic and waste continue to be popular topics, so why not pitch them a story about your kit and why you think it would be worth writing about.
Here is an example of a short email you could use:
Dear (newspaper name), My name is (your name) and I'm a resident in (town/suburb). I am writing to you about a potential story idea. I run a reusable party kit service to help provide an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastics in our (region/town/community). My kit is part of the Party Kit Network (www.partykitnetwork.org), a website that allows residents all over Australia to search for a reusable party kit to hire. The kit includes the basics for a party, plates, cups, bowls, cutlery, decorations, tablecloths and more. One use of my kit can save over 100 single-use items from going to landfill. Coles Supermarkets have an upcoming ban on plastic tableware products from 1 July 2021 and party kit holders like me are hoping to be part of the reuse solution while helping parents make the gentle transition away from wasteful parties. If you would like to learn more my phone number is (xxxx xxx xxx). Kind regards (your name)
I always suggest keeping pitches to news outlets short and to the point. If they are keen, they'll get back to you!
If you need assets or more information about the Party Kit Network, here's our media page.
Have a chat on the radio
Radio is a popular medium in Australia, and we have a lot of stations, especially in regional areas. Much like newspaper and magazine journalists, radio producers and presenters are looking for interesting local stories. Why not pitch them yours? You can use the same example I shared above to get their attention.
I understand the thought of talking on radio can sound scary. The thing with radio is people tune in so they can listen to those everyday stories with everyday people like you. No one will judge you or laugh - they'll be pleased to hear your story, and your family and friends will be proud of you. At most your conversation on air will last 3-5 mins maximum and will happen in the studio or via telephone.
If you are asked to interview via phone, make sure you turn the radio off, or it will create a weird echo sound on air.
A television news segment
This tip might be for regional based party kit holders, and this is because it will be easier to pitch a story to a regional TV studio compared to the metropolitan studios. Much like newspapers, magazines, and radio, TV producers and journos are also looking for stories.
Producers and journalist will work with you on the piece, to help you feel comfortable and ask the right questions to make sure conversation flows. The most they would film is talking to the camera and going through your party kit or seeing it set up. Like radio, the final clip would be no more than 5 mins.
Festivals, farmers markets, and other in person events
Check with any local festivals, farmers markets, and other events you think would suit, about hiring a table to display your party kit. Some places will give discounts to stall holders depending on what they are offering at the event – since your party kit would be display only it could be cheaper or even free.
If the event is outside double check to see if you'll have access to a tent or marquee too. You might find one you can borrow from family, friends, or a local Facebook group. The wonderful advantage of a display stall is people can ask you questions, see what the kit looks like, and take a pamphlet for later.
Another thing to remember with events like this is that even if people don't walk up the to stall you can still have an impact on people just walking by!
Stepping out of your comfort zone
These are just a handful of ideas and I know people will automatically shy away from some of them. But I can guarantee they are worth trying, especially if you are outside of a Metropolitan area!
Some of you might have seen me on TV or heard me on radio; I had zero training or practice for either. I even have a nervous stutter and blush bright red quickly. At first, I was very scared but soon realised there is nothing to be nervous about. I was only sharing tips to help people be more eco-friendly. And that's what we are doing when we share our party kits work – helping people be more eco-friendly. Most people will love to learn about what you are doing because what you are doing is awesome.
If you're interested in setting up a party kit, download our Get Started Guide.
If you already run a party kit and would like to register, join us here.