There are a huge number of online sites WEA groups can use to publicise their courses and activity for free, from the 'hyperlocal', e.g. your local village website, to networking sites with a local focus, e.g. Streelife.
Before you start, think about your target audience. Netmums and Mumsnet are hugely popular national websites with active local communities which meet 'virtually' online, through chat rooms and forums, and in person. You might think your course would appeal to this group, but if it's running during the day, how many would be free to attend?
Case study: Basingstoke
This branch/area was picked at random to see how many free local listing opportunities could be found.
- Basingstoke Gazette
- Observer Group papers
- Business Directory - free listings
- UK Small Business Directory
- The Breeze radio's Community Billboard
- Destination Basingstoke
- Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council's adult education providers page
Linking into existing groups
Once you know what courses you're putting on in a given year, you can search for local groups involved in specific subject areas whose members might be interested. An example might be joining the Viables Film Club on Meetup.com and inviting them to come to your Introduction to Film course.
Streetlife is a British social network for local communities. The aim of the site is to help people make the most of where they live by connecting with their neighbours and sharing practical information, advice and resources, so this is a fantastic place to advertise your courses, all for free!