(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
How can you communicate about your project while spending very little on marketing? After my presentation on marketing your project at the PMI PMXPO, this was a question I was asked.
We don’t all have the resources to produce banners, Tshirts, and Mugs with logos to spread the word about our projects. Do you have the funds? You are very welcome. Read this article about collaboration software that you can use for your projects.
If you’re still here, you don’t need a large budget for project communications. You are part of the majority. Let’s take a look at the options available to you for free or cheap project marketing.
Ideas for project communications that are affordable
You can do many things for free or very little money (if time is not an issue).
Subscribe to our email newsletter
Coffee shopping: Buying coffee with people you meet.
Town Hall style meetings
Quizzes are very popular and require only a token prize.
Use your team to spread the message.
You can get a free project communication template from the members-only template collection.
Use your skills. My entire family was invited to help me make 160 thank you labels for wine bottles (which I had paid for). We worked together in the living room cutting labels, decorating them, and tying ribbons to hold them on.
One of my colleagues then wrote ‘thanks’ on each one and placed them on the bottles that evening. We invited each recipient to choose from the wine in boxes and red or white when we handed them out. They all removed the label and put it in the box.
We were not acknowledged for our hard work and the personal touch that we tried so hard to convey.
Lesson learned: Just give alcohol to those stakeholders! (We had some alternatives for non-alcohol drinkers because we are such a thoughtful project team.
Cheap i.e. Cheap i.e.
As a prize in a project competition, I also crocheted a desk ornament. Although I don’t think the recipient was very grateful (he would probably prefer a bottle of wine), it was fun and showed my personality.
Food as a communication tool
You can also print rice paper logos and use them as cake toppers. This was done for the pilot launch a new piece software. I was able offer cakes to the users with photos of the office building and some with the company logo. Photos of people would have been more appealing, in hindsight.
Tip: Do not put rice paper toppers on cakes the day before. The ink got into the icing, and the pictures didn’t turn out as well. Stick them on right before you take them out for best results.
These ideas reflect my personality as well as the leadership style I bring into my projects. You might be different. Take advantage of your interests and those shared by the team.
Video production is much cheaper these days and people are more open to dubious quality. You don’t need to have any special skills. You can do it on your phone or tablet and record the project sponsor explaining their vision. It can be a powerful and cost-effective way to share the key messages of your project without having them diluted by operational managers telling the story again to their staff.
Here are some video tips:
Natural light is best. Natural light is better than studio lights if you don’t have them. Consider large windows or the outdoors.
Do not aim for the light. Do not position your interviewee in front of the window.
Audio quality matters. Audio quality is important.