GETTING YOUR MESSAGE OUT

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A PPT developed for presentation to PR volunteers for client non-profit attending national conference.

A PPT developed for presentation to PR volunteers for client non-profit attending national conference.

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  • 1. GETTING YOUR MESSAGE OUT The Basic Tools of Media Relations
  • 2. The Media
    • Media—plural (singular: medium), from Latin word meaning “middle”
    • News media are the bridge between you and your audience.
  • 3. Where We Get Our News
    • 71% local TV news
    • 54% local newspaper
    • 47% Google, Yahoo or TV news sites
    • 46% network evening news
    • 43% Fox News
    • 39% CNN
    • 34% network morning shows
    • 28% NPR
  • 4. Basic Elements of Communication
    • Source—who delivers your message?
    • Message—what do you want people to know about you?
    • Receiver—who are you talking to?
    • Channel—what vehicles will you use to get your message out?
  • 5.
      • Is it unusual?
          • Find a unique angle
      • How many people does it affect?
        • More people = bigger news
      • How does it affect them?
          • Why should they care?
  • 6. Using the News Media To Get Your Message Out
    • In print
    • On TV
    • On radio
    • On the Internet
  • 7. Getting Your Message Out in Print
    • News releases/media advisories
    • Opinion-editorial pieces (op-ed)
    • Letters to the editor
    • Editorial briefings
    • Reporter meetings
  • 8. --News Releases--
    • To introduce new product
    • To announce personnel changes
    • To promote recognition or award
    • To respond to current events
    • To announce upcoming event
    • To report on actions taken
  • 9. General News Release Tips
    • E-mail preferred delivery method; ask reporter/editor preference
    • Fax OK as alternate or back-up
    • No attachments—embedded in body of e-mail
    • 400-500 words best length
    • Consistent, recognizable format
  • 10. News Release Format
    • Release Time/Date
      • “ For Immediate Release” in caps
      • “ Embargo Until (Date)” in caps
    • Contact Info
      • Contact name, title, company
      • Phone, e-mail, website
  • 11. News Release Format (cont)
    • Headline
      • Primary news hook
    • Subhead (Optional)
      • Secondary news hook
    • Dateline
      • City, state, date
  • 12. News Release Content
    • Lead paragraph (Grabber)
      • Who
      • What
      • When
      • Where
      • Why
  • 13. News Release Content (cont)
    • Body (2-3 paragraphs)
      • Relevant info on news content
      • Quotes from staff, industry experts, satisfied customers (testimonials)
      • Avoid lingo, jargon, technical terms
  • 14. News Release Content (cont)
    • Conclusion
      • Summary sentence or two
      • Boilerplate company/organization description (always same)
  • 15. News Release Distribution (cont)
    • Consider timing
      • Wednesday, Thursday best days
      • Piggyback on popular current topic
      • Avoid competing with major news
      • Release early in day (unless embargoed) to maximize coverage
  • 16. News Release Follow-Up
    • Call to verify receipt
    • Offer additional info or assistance
    • Monitor for placement
    • Remember: your release or part of it may appear as part of a larger story on topic; that’s OK too!
  • 17. News Release Distribution
    • Develop your own media contact list for local/regional coverage
    • For regional/national coverage, consider on-line services (e.g., PRWeb)
      • PR Newswire
      • Vocus, Cision (subscription)
      • Other on-line distribution services
  • 18. Media Advisories
    • To announce news conference, photo ops, press events
    • E-mail or 1-pg fax including:
      • Who is holding the event
      • What the event will be
      • When the event is scheduled
      • Where the event will be held
      • Why the event is being held
      • Contacts for more information
  • 19. --Opinion-Editorial Pieces--
    • To advocate your position
    • To offer suggestions and solutions
    • To influence or inform
    • To call to action
    • To showcase your expertise
    • To position yourself as resource
  • 20. Writing an Op-Ed Piece
    • Shoot for 500-750 words
    • Be timely and relevant to news
    • Use short sentences and paragraphs
    • Graph 1: Introduce issue and key point
    • Graph 2: Explain/expand on key point
    • Graphs 3-4: Supporting info, stats, quotes, expert opinion
    • Final graph: Wrap-up and punch line
  • 21. Submitting an Op-Ed Piece
    • E-mail AND fax to editor (by name)
    • Call editor to verify receipt and request consideration of piece
    • Address “exclusivity” issue—honestly
    • Follow up in one week re status
    • If no placement, revise piece and try elsewhere
  • 22. --Letters to the Editor--
    • To respond to news coverage
    • To respond to editorial
    • To respond to another letter
    • To advocate position
    • To call to action
  • 23. Writing Letters to the Editor
    • Respond within 48 hours
    • Observe length limits, other rules
    • Source all quotes and statistics
    • Focus on YOUR message
    • Avoid personal attacks
    • Maintain reasonable tone
    • Write clearly and concisely
  • 24. Submitting Letters to Editor
    • Use newspaper websites where submission mechanisms provided
    • If no website mechanism, e-mail directly to editor (call for address)
    • Keep dated copy on file
  • 25. --Editorial Briefings--
    • To introduce yourself as local resource and expert on important issue
    • To offer your perspective on timely issues
    • To address concerns about coverage of your issues
  • 26. Setting Up an Editorial Briefing
    • E-mail or call editor’s office to request 20 minutes for briefing
    • Be specific about purpose of meeting
    • Explain how the briefing will benefit newspaper’s coverage of your issue
    • Deadlines will drive scheduling
  • 27. Doing an Editorial Briefing
    • Remember 3Rs of editorial briefings
      • Realistic expectations
      • Reasonable tone
      • Responsive attitude
    • Use positive approach:
      • “ How can we do better?”
  • 28. Doing an Editorial Briefing (cont)
    • Provide 1-2 page handouts
      • Your name, position, contact info
      • Organization description
      • Position statements on key issues
      • Experts who share your perspective, including contact info for them
  • 29. -- Reporter Meetings--
    • Contact reporter covering issue
    • Request short meeting to introduce yourself and organization
    • Provide 1-2 page handout for future reference
    • Clarify goal—balance, accuracy
  • 30. Getting Your Message Out on TV
    • News conferences
    • Media events
      • Getting media to your events
      • Responding to others’ events
    • Studio appearances
  • 31. News Conferences
    • Only for BIG news—don’t abuse!
    • Location convenient to media, especially TV
    • Typical “visuals”
      • Talking heads
      • Exhibits or graphics (poster-size)
      • Backdrops (selected sites)
  • 32. Holding a News Conference
    • Notify media 3-4 days in advance if possible (media advisory)
    • Schedule before noon to maximize coverage, accommodate deadlines
    • Reserve room large enough to handle podium, speakers, exhibits, TV cameras, reporters, and audience
  • 33. Holding a News Conference (cont)
    • Ensure enough power for everything
    • Use podium to hold radio mics
    • Distribute news release summarizing event and quotes
    • Have graphics available on disk or travel drive
  • 34. Media Events
    • Getting coverage of your own events
      • Make location convenient for media
      • Make sure media know where to go
      • Have program and material well-organized; don’t waste reporter time
      • Same notice and timing as news conference
  • 35. Media Events (cont)
    • Responding to others’ events (protests, “attack” events)
      • Put distance between yourself and negative visuals
      • Maintain reasonable tone, avoid defensiveness or anger
      • Provide factual info in written form (news release or statement)
  • 36. Studio Appearances
    • Usually taped but occasionally live
    • Usually include all sides of issue
    • Usually focus on current topic
    • Usually moderated by someone not involved in issue
  • 37. Studio Appearances (cont)
    • Dress conservatively—solid colors except black, avoid bright stripes or plaids—blue or red are good
    • Blue or white shirt
    • Modest make-up—they’ll perk you up if needed
    • Dress to be comfortable—nothing to distract from your message
  • 38. Studio Appearances (cont )
    • Sit up straight, slightly forward
    • Look directly at interviewer or speaker, not at camera
    • Gesture naturally but avoid hands in front of face (torso box)
    • Smile when appropriate but don’t force it
  • 39. Getting Your Message Out on Radio
    • To educate public about issue
    • To promote upcoming event
    • To call to action
    • To respond to current events
    • To build awareness and identity
  • 40. Getting Your Message Out on Radio (cont)
    • Radio interviews may be conducted:
      • By telephone
      • In studio
      • On location
    • Radio interview opportunities:
      • News
      • Talk shows
  • 41. Doing Radio Interviews
    • With no visuals, it’s about SOUND
      • Vocal quality
      • Voice patterns
      • Speech patterns
      • Speech rate
      • Accent
      • Expressiveness
  • 42. Doing Radio Interviews (cont)
    • News interviews—earlier rules apply for getting coverage (i.e., timing, newsworthiness, etc.)
    • Talk shows—rules are different
      • May be news but not necessarily
      • Talk shows also educate, entertain, provoke discussion
  • 43. Doing Radio Interviews (cont)
    • Reporters ask news interview Q’s
    • Listeners ask talk show Q’s
      • With listeners, “no holds barred”
      • Note names, speak one-on-one
      • Be prepared for ANYTHING
      • Maintain focus on your messages
  • 44. Getting Your Message Out On the Internet
    • Web sites, on-line press room
    • Blogs
    • Podcasts
    • List-Servs
    • Social networking (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, Digg, Linkedin, etc.)
  • 45. Summary
    • Good PR doesn’t have to be complicated.
    • Do the right thing.
    • Tell people about it.
    • Tell them why it matters.