How to Plan a Recognition Event
Recognition events are an opportunity to acknowledge OTF’s support, earn media coverage for your organization and connect with your local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP). The following information provides a “how-to” guide to successfully plan and host your OTF recognition event.
Contact your OTF Communications Advisor
Recognition events can be in-person or virtual. They can be a stand-alone event or integrated into a pre-existing event.
Your local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) will need to be invited, so selecting a date and time when MPPs are not in the Legislature is important. Friday or Saturday events are preferred for MPP availability. For more information on when the Legislature is in session, please check the Legislative Calendar.
Once you have an idea and/or tentative date for your event, contact your OTF Communications Advisor with your grant ID at least three weeks in advance to confirm all the details and ensure requirements are met. Providing less than three weeks’ notice may result in a date change or requirements not being met.
Invite your guests
After you have talked with your OTF Communications Advisor and confirmed the event date and format with them, it’s time to invite your guests!
Who needs to be invited?
- Local MPP: To provide brief remarks and officially acknowledge your grant on behalf of the government of Ontario. (Your OTF Communications Advisor can advise you on how to invite them).
- OTF representative: To provide brief remarks and acknowledge your grant on behalf of OTF. (Your OTF Communications advisor will select and invite the representative for you).
- Local media, if appropriate (via media advisory).
All other event invitations are at your discretion.
A clear and well-organized agenda is key to hosting a smooth event. It should include the event details, contact information, and list of speakers. Generally, speakers should be allocated 2-3 minutes to speak.
Follow our event agenda template and send a draft to your OTF Communications Advisor one week prior to the event.
They will review the content and return the final version for you to share with your team and the MPP’s office. If any last-minute changes arise, please notify your OTF Communications Advisor and the MPP’s office immediately.
Planning for the Media
Preparing the following documents is required for all recognition events and will help you get the best uptake with your local media.
Local Media Contact List
Prepare a list of media outlets in your community (print, online, radio, television). If there are reporters who have written stories about your organization in the past, be sure to include them. Create an email list that you can use to send your media advisory and release to. You can find each media outlet’s contacts on their respective websites.
The media advisory alerts the media about your event and gets them interested. It should be emailed to the media outlets on your list one week ahead of your event.
Download our sample media advisory to learn more.
Once drafted, send it to your OTF Communications Advisor two weeks before the event. They will review the content and return it for you to then send to the media outlets on your list one week ahead of your event.
This is your opportunity to tell your story. Its purpose is to gain media interest and provide them with the angle of how to position your story.
Use our sample media release to ensure you follow the appropriate format.
Once drafted, send it to your OTF Communications Advisor two weeks before the event. They will review it, obtain a quote from your MPP and return it to you one to two days prior to the event.
The media release is finalized before the event and given to the media in attendance. For invited media that could not attend, you can email your media release immediately following the event, with a photo as a separate attachment. Do not embed a photo in the media release. To further promote the event, you can post your media release on your website and social media channels (be sure to tag @ONTrillium on social).
You will want to take photos of the event, which includes the speakers, guests, and activities. During or after the event, you can post your photos on social media, your website, newsletters, or other communication materials. You should also send a photo as a separate attachment with your media release, identifying the people in the photo from left to right.
For virtual events, take a screenshot of the call. For best results, please add the photo opportunity to your agenda, which alerts participants to this, so they can look at their cameras and smile (as they would if it were in-person).
Before posting images from your OTF recognition event that include youth under the age of 18, be sure you have a signed consent form from their parent or legal guardian. If you do not, OTF has provided a sample photo release form for you to use:
After your event is over, OTF would love to hear about how it went. Follow up with your OTF Communications Advisor to let them know how it went and share photos (with names of people in them).
Save links to any news coverage you received and include these in your final report.