How to get local media coverage
However big or small your event, using your local media is a great way to get publicity and sponsorship. It also helps to raise awareness of gain and its work.
1. Find out the details of your local media. Include local papers, BBC and local radio and TV stations and any magazines in the area. If you are not sure where to start check out the local library as they will have copies of local publications. Most media has a website where you can get relevant details of who to contact. And think big – if you don’t ask you won’t get!
2. Draw up a press release. (Sample press release) This does not have to be fancy – in fact the simpler the better. Try to keep it to one page at the most. Just ensure you cover the main point of the event such as
a. Date, time and location
b. Say why you are doing this event and why it is important to you. Is it because of an experience you have had, or do you know someone with GBS or CIDP or perhaps it is just a personal challenge?
c. Say what you are looking for. Do you want people to sponsor you or are you encouraging others to take part?
d. Explain how people can sponsor you or how they can get involved. Who should people contact.
e. Quotes – include an exciting quote to get people interested, especially if it is one of support from a local celebrity.
f. Add your own details to the bottom of the press release. Make sure the telephone number is one where they can talk to someone during normal office hours.
g. Include a couple of lines about GBS and what the charity does so people understand what they are helping raise money for.
3. Send the press release to your chosen media. The easiest way is by email. You should paste the press release directly into the email as an attachment may not be read. Make sure you put a title in the subject section. Make sure you leave plenty of time, 2 to 3 weeks is good as it does not give time to forget. Obviously if you are looking for sponsorship you will need to start earlier, but put out a reminder closer to the event.
4. Follow up each contact. Telephone them to check that they have seen the press release. If they haven’t received it, offer to send it through again but use the opportunity to tell them a little more about the event.
5. Invite and encourage the journalist/photographer to attend the event. Let them know there is a picture opportunity and story! Tell them exactly what you are planning to do and why it would make a good photo for their paper.
6. Photo call at the event. Make a time when the reporter, photographer or TV crew should arrive to cover the story. A half an hour slot should be plenty. Photos are also useful if you are trying to drum up sponsorship before the event – perhaps a picture of you training!
7. Find your own good photographer to take pictures on the day. Newspapers are always looking for strong and exciting images so if a newspaper can’t send a photographer they may still print the story afterwards if you send them some good images. As a rough guide you should make them imaginative and good quality (at least 1mb in size if you’re using a digital camera).
8. Identify your spokesperson (if it is not you). Make sure this person is well briefed about the event and its aims so that they can give an informed and entertaining interview to media. Ideally this person would be quoted in your press release.
9. Let all participants know that there will be photography and publicity at the event. This is particularly important if you have children taking part.
If you need any help, please contact the office in Heckington who will be happy to help you.