Publicity for SST conferences should aim in the first instance to be an ongoing source of information about ASSTA and the conferences, as part of a well-established international series, to both Australian and overseas researchers. Secondly, the publicity should aim to promote ASSTA and speech science and technology generally to the public. In other words, one particular SST conference should not be seen as an isolated event but part of a vigorous discipline in which Australia is accepted as an integral part of the world community. In line with this, these guidelines will cover both the recipients of and venues for publicity on the one hand, and the type of material publicised on the other.
As a general piece of advice, it is important to see the conference publicity as a two year campaign. This will mean planning that campaign from the start of the two year period. This is important to ensure all other relevant conferences are targetted and that the lead time needed to get advertising published in, say, newsletters and journals does not create a problem.
From the outset, publicity should be seen as having a connection with the conference mailing lists. The publicity officer should work closely with the conference secretary, therefore, who usually has these on disk. Included in the mailing lists will be individuals, academic departments and laboratories, government departments and agencies, and commercial concerns. These should all receive copies of the Expressions of Interest and the Call For Papers brochures at least. It may be that other publicity such as posters will also be appropriate for some of these (academic departments, for example).
Recipients of and Venues for Publicity
There are a range of types of venue that should receive SST publicity: conferences, workshops, newsletters, bulletin boards, journals, the WWW.
Posters and brochures should be on display at all relevant conferences with (if possible) information placed in the conference satchels as well. Permission should be sought to publicise SST from the conference secretariat in each case.
There are several conferences and workshops held across the two year period between SST conferences. These may be found by checking major journals and association newsletters and bulletin boards. It is a good idea also to ask people from the various areas covered by the SST conferences about upcoming conferences and workshops. A starting place will be the ASSTA newsletter which features a conference log of upcoming conferences.
Most conferences are held regularly. Some of the more important ones to target include Eurospeech, organised by The European Speech Communication Association. This conference is bienniel, held in September in a major European centre in the 'odd' year (e.g., 1995; 1997 etc.). As such it is a valuable overseas venue for publicity. Also in the odd year, in Australia, is the Language and Speech Conference, also bienniel. In recent years this has been held in Melbourne and Sydney in November. This is a small conference and only partly overlaps with the SST constituency, but ASSTA and the Language and Speech Conference organising committees have an agreement to promote one another's conferences to help develop the scope of the two constituencies. Two other large international conferences are the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP) organised by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) - held around April or May each year, and the International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP) - a bienniel conference usually held between September and December of the 'even' year, and is an important venue to publicise the SST conferences generally. Two other annual meetings worth noting are The American Voice I/O Society Meeting held in September, and the International Conference on Speech Processing organised by the Acoustical Society of Korea and held in August.
In general, try to cover conferences in all areas covered by SST and in associated areas. Look for conferences in phonetics, psycholinguistics, various perspectives on speech and language, including natural language processing, signal processing, artificial neural networks, speech and voice pathology, acoustics, computational linguistics, audiology, linguistics and so on.
Professional associations hold workshops on specific topics throughout the year - the European Speech Communication Association (ESCA), for example, holds regular workshops. There are also the ARPA (formally DARPA) Speech Understanding workshops held annually in the USA. Others may be associated with particular academic institutions or laboratories. The publicity officer should check for any plans to hold these across the two year period and get material to them.
Newsletters and Bulletin Boards
Notices of the conference should appear at least once in all relevant newsletters, journals and bulletin boards. Make sure to leave enough lead-in time for the newsletters. Find out early how much time is required from submission of the notice to publication. Notices should be timed to remind potential delegates of the date for abstracts and for registrations as well as providing general information. Some professional associations to check for newsletters and bulletin boards are:
ASSTA (you should provide material to the newsletter editor)
European Speech Communication Association
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Signal Processing Society
International Phonetic Association
International Society of Phonetic Sciences
Acoustical Society of Korea
The Japan Electronic Industry Development Association
Australian Linguistic Society
Acoustical Society of America
Audiological Society of Australia
American Speech, Hearing and Language Association
Australian Association of Speech and Hearing
Association for Computational Linguistics
American Voice I/O Society
With Bulletin Boards, you may need to speak to someone who has access to a particular bulletin board to find out how to access it yourself. Sometimes, they are related to associations, but often they operate as independent entities.
Many academic journals carry advertising about conferences. This can range from a small note to full page advertisments. The latter will almost certainly be expensive. However, the publishers can be approached to sponsor the conference by providing free advertising.
Possible journals include:
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Journal of the International Phonetic Association
Journal of Phonetics
Australian Journal of Linguistics
Journal of Speech and Hearing Research
Journal of the Audiological Society of Australia
Computer Speech and Language
Journal of Quantitative Linguistics
Journal of Computer Assisted Language Learning
IEEE Signal Processing Magazine
Speech Technology Journal
Language and Speech
A WWW page should be created for the conference as soon as possible, with links to ASSTA's home page and Directory of Research. This may entail appointing an expert to assist the Publicity person, and liaising with the ASSTA Executive Committee member responsible for maintaining Electronic Services.
Types of Materials
The types of publicity material developed should include posters and notices for journals, newsletters and bulletin boards, as well as the WWW page. As a general point, it is worth commenting that recent years have seen an increasing sophistication in the design of these materials in the speech science and technology areas, particularly in terms of colour and layout. Many conferences vie for our attention these days so we need something that will make people read the material we send out. A careful use of eye-catching colour and layout can make all the difference. This applies particularly to the Expression of Interest and the Call For Papers and any posters that are produced for conferences. Newsletters, journals and bulletin boards often have specific requirments in terms of layout. It is useful to prepare a range of notices to suit the different formats from a single line to a full page.
The information to be included will vary depending on the format required and, if an advertisement, when in the two year period it will appear. Not all information is known at the outset. However, some information should always be included:
As soon as possible, update the details and start to include:
Where space permits also include:
For the WWW page, much more can be included. As well as the above, update as and when the following information becomes avaiable:
The ASSTA International Advisory Board
There are a number of prominent overseas and Australian researchers who form the International Advisory Board (IAB) of ASSTA. The members of the IAB will circulate information about the SST conferences to other researchers and laboratories in their areas. It is important to provide full information to all members of the IAB - contact the ASSTA secretary for an up-to-date list of the IAB members.
Closer to the Event
While media releases should be spaced throughout the two year period (see Timetable Guide for SST Organising Committee), there are many things to do closer to the event. As the conference approaches, more local publicity is needed. Notices of the conference should appear in campus newspapers. Contact the host campuses local newspapers and/or newsletters as well as Campus Review. These notices can be either local interest stories with basic conference details or something similar to the journal advertisements. Academics and students in associated areas on the host city campuses should be notified if they haven't already received information. Send them the draft program; they may want to attend for single days to listen to a particular address or paper session.
The media should also be informed, particularly of any displays, keynote speakers and opening addresses. If possible get these events on the TV and Radio evening news bulletins and even current affairs programmes - they occasionally show interest (including Quantum and Towards 2000). Try to arrange interviews for the keynote speakers with the media. This could be at the conference site or in the studio/offices. Check the local radio stations, TV stations and newspapers to find suitable programs and/or interviewers, and make direct contact with that person or the program producer. The same applies to news bulletins.
Provide information to your host campus media services unit. You can provide basic information such as the Call for Papers or other advertising material. Talk directly to one of the journalists in the unit suggesting particular papers, keynote addresses, applications or displays they may be interested in. They may not know the right questions to ask, so give them a few clues. They will circulate notices to print and electronic media in the form of press releases. Be ready to give interviews to the media before and during the conference, including live-to-air radio interviews, or have someone else prepared to do so. Have a few points you wish to emphasise about the conference, speakers, displays or even ASSTA, and that you get across regardless of the questions asked.
After the Conference
The WWW page should be retained after the conference, if possible up to the next conference. Material should include:
Adopted by Executive - 12th June 1997
This supercedes the earlier guidelines in use