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PR Beyond The Press Release
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PR Beyond The Press Release


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On Monday 26th October 2009 Mark Ellis and Jude Habib of sounddelivery delivered a workshop called PR: Beyond the Press Release. The session was part of a day of training organised by the Media Trust …

On Monday 26th October 2009 Mark Ellis and Jude Habib of sounddelivery delivered a workshop called PR: Beyond the Press Release. The session was part of a day of training organised by the Media Trust for the Learning Revolution Festival. The 1 hour workshop aimed to get participants thinking of all the on- and off-line activities they could utilise to boost their media presence and attract attention to cause.

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  • 1. PR Beyond the Press Release: planning & ideas for successful media coverage Mark Ellis & Jude Habib sound delivery
  • 2. Press Release Dos and Don’ts
    • Use short, simple sentences – avoid flowery language
    • Include relevant contact details
    • Use attention grabbing headlines
    • Include a photograph or details on how to obtain one
    • Write quotes in your press release
    • Ensure the date is on the release
    • Write “Press Release” at the top of the page.
    • Try to keep to one page as much as possible.
    • Proof read for typing, spelling and grammatical errors
    • Send release to correct person – careful targeting essential!
    • Use exclamation marks!!!
    • Use technical language and jargon
    • Write long sentences or paragraphs
    • Send your press release after an event – its no longer news
    • Send a press release and then go on holiday or go into hibernation
    • Just write “press release” in the subject line of your email
    Do Don’t
  • 3. 5 keys to local media coverage
    • L
    • E
    • A
    • R
    • N
    • Local
    • Examples
    • Available
    • Relationships
    • News
  • 4. Local
    • What’s the local angle?
    • Look for genuine local connections – stories and anecdotes, exhibitions, history, funding
  • 5. Examples
    • Case Studies
    • Interviewees
    • Make sure your story matches the media – a story without pictures is ideal for radio
  • 6. Availability
    • Be prepared for last-minute requests even for pre-planned stories, and try to be patient
    • Don’t offer up guests you haven’t checked are available in the hope they’ll take a substitute at the last minute.
    • Groom and support your organisation spokesperson (someone who loves attention and will put the media first) – Max Clifford, John Bird, Paul Cavadino, etc…
  • 7. Relationships
    • Do make friends
    • Don’t be shy
    • Do be persistent
    • Don’t rely solely on the planning desk
    • Do get contact details and stay in touch
    • Do suggest partnership projects
  • 8. News
    • Newsworthiness – if you think the story you’re pushing is dull, don’t bother or freshen up the angle.
    • Keep abreast of what’s happening – look for tie-ins with current events/soap story lines/TV programmes/other news stories.etc…
    • React immediately – if you spot a good connection don’t wait until tomorrow to put some calls in.
  • 9. Generating Coverage
    • Briefings
    • Lunches/Dinners/Drinks
    • Events
    • Visits (to your offices, facitities, shops, projects: home and abroad, etc…)
    • Photocalls
    • Stunts
  • 10. St Thomas’s Hospital donor appeal
  • 11. Planning your PR activity
    • Objectives
      • ‘ to raise profile/awareness’ is not specific enough. Why do you want to raise awareness?
    • Target audiences –
      • think through all the stakeholders whose opinions and actions affect your work.
    • Key messages –
      • develop a crib sheet listing all your key messages and see how many points you can earn on each communications opportunity.
    • Communication methods –
      • think beyond media relations. Other options include direct mail, exhibitions, shop window displays, and inviting the media to visit your facility.
  • 12. Planning your PR activity
    • Plan your time –
      • focus your efforts at strategic points to create the most noise.
    • Budget –
      • where will your money be best spent?
    • Evaluation –
      • how will you measure achievement against the objectives identified? Plan in a debrief to identify what works and what doesn’t.
  • 13. What else?
    • Write your own brief
    • Collate your “media resources”
    • Journalists don’t do you favours on purpose!
    • Borrow other people’s ideas
    • Monitor your performance
  • 14. Brainstorm
    • Divide into groups – and work through creative plan for a news story
    • (for M + J to discuss)