10 Top Tips
For getting your story into the local paper or on local radio for Trustees’ Week
- Be clear about what you want - are you hoping a story in the local paper will help attract people to your event? Or do you want a nice write-up after the event? There are lots of different ways of raising awareness of your charity and Trustees’ Week - the more targeted your approach is, the more likely you’ll be to have an impact.
- Local stories for local people - local newsrooms receive scores of press releases every day, many of which are not really relevant to their patch. Make sure your heading and the text of the release are targeted to the patch of the newsroom in question - and include lots of local detail.
- Be up-close and personal - local journalists love good news stories about the achievements of people in their patch. Try to include as much human interest detail as you can. If possible, include quotes and photos of case studies and state that they’re happy to be interviewed on the radio.
- Show them the facts - journalists are always busy so they love it when others do their work for them. Add a list of the kind of facts that might add meat to the story in a list at the bottom of the release.
- Star power - if you’re inviting a local celebrity to your event, put that in the release. If you’re sending out the release after the event and someone famous attended, put that in, too. If the celebrity is supportive of your charity’s work, ask them whether they can do interviews or provide quotes.
- Get to the point - press releases have to excite the reader’s interest. Use pithy language and short sentences - and include the most important/ interesting information in the first few lines.
- Flatter your target - read the paper you’re targeting and make a note of a journalist who writes softer news stories. Follow up your press release with a call to the journalist you’ve identified, saying that you enjoy reading their articles and have a story they might be interested in.
- Be available - if possible, include a contact number in the press release which journalists can use out of normal working hours. Radio stations in particular are likely to have journalists working weekends and evenings – they’ll be grateful if you’re around when others are not.
- Don’t give up - if your first press release didn’t attract a journalist to your event send out another release afterwards, including as much local detail as possible (“held at the x centre, on y road, just off the z roundabout ...”).
- Be prepared but don’t be scared - local journalists won’t want to trip you up in an interview – but they may ask you some challenging questions. It’s in their interest to do a good interview, so try to think about some of the tricky questions they might ask in advance so you can enjoy the attention without worrying.
Paul Tayler: 24th Oct 2017 13:40:00
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