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How to properly publicize
May 18, 2011 9:12 AM   Subscribe

What are some good ways of publicizing a workshop/conference when the submission deadline is in two weeks?

I'm co-chairing an upcoming workshop at a large academic-ish conference, and I'm at a loss for how to publicize this properly. Basically, I need to convince 20-40 people to send in extended abstracts in the next two weeks on a somewhat niche topic, and I'm not really sure what else to do besides what I've already done. (Only having two weeks is not due to procrastination on my part.) I and my committee have posted to every major mailing list in the field we can think of (which amounted to about 7 lists), and we've heard zip. I'm concerned that because of the unfortunate timing at the end of the semester, most students and professors aren't going to want to be working on submissions right now. I was hoping I could reach a wider audience by emailing individual mailing lists in appropriate departments, because my own university sends me tons of crap this way, but after going through most of the relevant schools on my list, I see no way for a non-affiliated party to submit to mailing lists.

So I guess my question is two-fold:
1) Is it considered spammy to send email to the contact email address for each school (in the relevant department, obviously) and ask them to post our CFP on their departmental mailing list?
2) If this is considered horribly bad manners, does anyone have any suggestions for other ways I could get this info out ASAP?

(I'd prefer not to mention what the conference or the niche topic is publicly, if possible.)
posted by wending my way to Human Relations (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
... but after going through most of the relevant schools on my list, I see no way for a non-affiliated party to submit to mailing lists.

Are there listservs for professional associations or honors societies related to your discipline/s? Facebook pages?
posted by ryanshepard at 9:47 AM on May 18, 2011


When I was a student I got a bunch of emails from my department that were calls for papers from external sources, forwarded on to students on the department mailing list. I didn't think it was spammy or bad (actually I thought it was sort of handy, but ymmv I guess—anyway, there is at least one department secretary who will forward on relevant calls for papers that she's been emailed).

Is there an established call for papers blog for your discipline? My partner follows the philosophy one, and has found a number of veryverysoon submission deadlines that he's scrambled to meet because they sounded interesting. Something like that might be a good way to get the word out to people who might not be subscribed to listservs.
posted by bewilderbeast at 10:04 AM on May 18, 2011


When I was a student I got a bunch of emails from my department that were calls for papers from external sources, forwarded on to students on the department mailing list.

Me too. I even know someone who got a job from one of those forwarded messages, people do read them. Instead of emailing the department and hoping, ring the department secretary or admin staff and ask them who to contact about it, then email that person directly with the copy you want forwarded. That way you know it will be forwarded on, and if they really don't want that kind of thing they'll tell you in person. It might take a bit longer but completely avoids any problem of looking like spam.

Definitely look around for other places to post online too, blogs or forums for the general subject area for example. Word of mouth can work for this kind of thing and, if nothing else, that will get your CFP into google.

In my experience conference abstracts tend to get done and submitted right at the last minute, so I don't think you're too late to be telling people. Extensions to the deadline are also so common that the people higher up than me seemed to factor them into their planning from the start (which, in turn, meant I couldn't get corrections or approval necessary to submit my abstract until the very last minute even when I was more organised). So if you're not going to be able to give any kind of extension or forgiveness for slightly late submissions you might want to make that clear now.
posted by shelleycat at 10:25 AM on May 18, 2011


As others have said, sending things to the department secretary will usually get them forwarded to the appropriate listserv, at least in all the (humanities) departments I've been part of. Are there message boards for your professional association? I get CFPs from blogs and message boards much more often than I get them from mailing lists (other than the departmental one).

People might be able to give slightly more helpful answers if you could narrow down the field a bit, at least to the level of science/social science/humanities, etc., even if not to the precise discipline.
posted by dizziest at 11:47 AM on May 18, 2011


Also, have you tried individually contacting other people who you know are working on this specific niche topic? Never underestimate the allure of being personally asked to submit!
posted by dizziest at 11:49 AM on May 18, 2011


Time to start phoning people up (like tomorrow). Cobble together a list of 100 people and start making those calls.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:06 PM on May 18, 2011


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