Getting Coverage


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Presentation from 2008 Keith Moore conference

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Getting Coverage

  1. 1. GETTING COVERAGE FOR YOUR INSTITUTION Charlie Melichar Colgate University
  2. 2. First, a little about my institution <ul><li>Private residential liberal arts college </li></ul><ul><li>Founded in 1819 </li></ul><ul><li>Student body of 2,800 </li></ul>
  3. 3. “Centrally located” <ul><li>Read: 4 hours from everything </li></ul><ul><li>Village of Hamilton (population of 2,800) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>30 mins from Utica </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>60 mins from Syracuse, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Binghamton </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 hours from Albany </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The challenge <ul><li>“Amplify Colgate’s academic excellence” </li></ul>
  5. 5. 8 SIMPLE RULES for pitching your college or university
  6. 6. Rule 1: Tie your messages and stories to the institution’s strategic plan
  7. 7. Strategery <ul><li>Tie your media plan to priorities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there geographic targets for enrollment? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is scholarly profile an issue? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are you investing in certain programs? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All of these can should tie back to the stories you choose to focus on </li></ul>
  8. 8. It all starts with the faculty <ul><li>A faculty/research focused agenda won’t do you wrong </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pegged to current issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrates relevance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hits the core of a college - knowledge </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Tell me about yourself… <ul><li>100+ faculty meetings over a semester (or so) </li></ul><ul><li>Uncovered new people and stories </li></ul><ul><li>Created a fertile seedbed for the future </li></ul>
  10. 10. Rule 2: Know your market
  11. 11. But what about the Mid York? <ul><li>Lesson learned – the biggest target isn’t necessarily the most important one </li></ul><ul><li>Know what those you are </li></ul><ul><li>trying to reach are reading </li></ul>
  12. 13. Think local <ul><li>Grow your stories at home </li></ul><ul><li>Grow your experts and sources at home </li></ul><ul><li>Most of your coverage will be local or regional -- so build those relationships </li></ul>
  13. 14. Rule 3: Don’t sweat the small stuff
  14. 15. Press releases are evil <ul><li>Think and rethink your press release strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you really need them? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In the age of microtargeting, how much resource should you be putting into releases? </li></ul>
  15. 16. How we paid for Vocus <ul><li>Annual budget for media relations </li></ul><ul><li>- Cost of several media directories </li></ul><ul><li>- Cost of staff time spent faxing </li></ul><ul><li>- Cost of a few clipping services </li></ul><ul><li>+ Small investment (less than $5,000) </li></ul>
  16. 17. What we now get <ul><li>Dynamic contact directory </li></ul><ul><li>Better ability to target pitches </li></ul><ul><li>Tracking of efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Mapping of results </li></ul><ul><li>Most importantly… archive of our work </li></ul>
  17. 18. Rule 4: Be relevant. Be ready.
  18. 19. Level the playing field <ul><li>Develop your experts for national exposure and have them ready </li></ul><ul><li>Technology makes location less important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Satellite, ISDN, streaming bring you to them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video of experts and stories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS feeds to reporters and outlets </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. Rule 5: Hit the road.
  20. 21. Colgate Calling… <ul><li>Bring your president and key administrators to the media, but only when they have something to say </li></ul><ul><li>Go in prepared to tackle the tough issues of the day and bring some new ideas to the table </li></ul>
  21. 22. Rule 6: Think broadly about “media” and “coverage”
  22. 23. The web is your friend <ul><li>Social media consumption is rising </li></ul><ul><li>People increasingly turn to the web for news </li></ul><ul><li>You can communicate directly with your target audiences via the web </li></ul>
  23. 24. There are four? <ul><li>The Internet is now the primary news source for more than 50 million Americans. </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet is now the number one daytime medium and the number two medium in the home for those between 18-50. </li></ul><ul><li>Only one in four people between 18-34 can name the four major broadcast networks . </li></ul>2.0
  24. 25. News blog
  25. 28. Rule 7: Show your work
  26. 29. Break out the abacus <ul><li>Find ways to measure your work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you don’t, someone else will </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clipbooks may have their place, but you can dig deeper </li></ul><ul><li>Track year to year </li></ul>
  27. 30. Analytics
  28. 31. Rule 8: Share the love
  29. 32. It’s okay to point <ul><li>Celebrate your successes </li></ul><ul><li>Show the results of your media successes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not everybody reads everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gives interviewees a sense of pride </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others want to be a part of it </li></ul></ul>
  30. 33. In the News
  31. 35. 8 SIMPLE RULES for pitching your college or university