Media relations: the ultimate form of public engagement?

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Presented by Craig Brierley and Katrina Nevin-Ridley (Media Office, Wellcome Trust) at the Public Engagement Workshop, 2-5 Dec. 2008, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa, http://scienceincommunity.wordpress.com/

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Media relations: the ultimate form of public engagement?

  1. 1. Media relations: the ultimate form of public engagement?
  2. 2. Media relations: advertising on a shoestring? <ul><li>Cheap – all you need is: </li></ul>… but it can be unpredictable
  3. 3. Why bother with the media? <ul><li>Raises awareness of: - your work - your organisation - your funder </li></ul><ul><li>Public engagement for the masses </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes informed debate </li></ul><ul><li>Can be very influential </li></ul>
  4. 4. The role of a media office <ul><li>Maintain positive profile </li></ul><ul><li>Developing media strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Writing press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Providing media training </li></ul><ul><li>Briefing journalists </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinating interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing for the worst </li></ul>
  5. 5. Developing a media strategy (1) <ul><li>WHY? Aims and objectives </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT? Key messages </li></ul><ul><li>WHO? Target audiences </li></ul><ul><li>HOW? Target media/outlets </li></ul><ul><li>WHEN? Key dates </li></ul>
  6. 6. Target media <ul><li>International </li></ul><ul><li>National </li></ul><ul><li>Local </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcast </li></ul><ul><li>Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Specialist </li></ul>
  7. 7. Developing a media strategy (2) <ul><li>Spokespeople </li></ul><ul><li>Press release sign-off </li></ul><ul><li>Risks </li></ul><ul><li>Photography </li></ul><ul><li>Additional material required </li></ul><ul><li>How will you measure success? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Press release essentials Embargo date and time (including time zone) Catchy title First sentence that encapsulates the story First paragraph to explain story and give context Name checks for collaborators, funders, etc.
  9. 9. Length: 500-800 words ideal? Quotes to add colour - try to get at least two + external comment Contact details for press office <ul><li>Notes for editors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Journal reference for paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- ‘Boilerplates’ </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. What makes a good story? <ul><li>Biggest, most expensive, first </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant to our lives </li></ul><ul><li>Human interest – case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Quirky </li></ul><ul><li>Visual </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges our preconceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Local angle </li></ul><ul><li>Be realistic </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of ‘spiking’ </li></ul>

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