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Effective media relations for your charity

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Becky Slack, founder and managing director, Slack Communications

Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from past events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do: www.charitycomms.org.uk

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Effective media relations for your charity

  1. 1. Effective media relations for small charities www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  2. 2. What do I know? www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  3. 3. Agenda • Understanding the media • What makes a story • Beyond news… • How to pitch www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  4. 4. Understanding the media What do journalists do and what do they want? www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  5. 5. Understanding the media What do journalists do? Journalists investigate, collect and present information to their audience. They make sense of the world and present us with what we need to know, filtering out unnecessary content. www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  6. 6. Understanding the media A journalist’s priorities - (Breaking) a really good story - Selling more newspapers/magazines - Receiving more clicks and shares Not a priority: your key messages, fundraising targets… www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  7. 7. Understanding the media What they want (from you) - Good story ideas - Useful, reliable, accurate information - Speedy delivery - Right format www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  8. 8. Understanding the media Key characteristics of a journalist - Experts in their fields - Exceptionally busy - Demanding, impatient, cynical www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  9. 9. What is a story? What do journalists look for in stories? www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  10. 10. What is a story? Galtungand Ruge’snewsvalues www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  11. 11. What is a story? Share-ability Galtungand Ruge’snewsvalues www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  12. 12. What is a story? The most successful stories include all or combination of: - News values - Human interest (real-life stories) - Opinion (something to generate debate) - Evidence (to give credibility to your opinion) www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  13. 13. What is a story? What is not a story? www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  14. 14. What is a story? What is not a story? Promotional material (PR puff) www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  15. 15. What is a story? The ‘So What?’ test - Will anyone but you actually care about this story? - Why do people need to know this information? - Does it tell them something they don’t already know? - Why is this ‘a story’ and not ‘PR puff”? - Will it create traffic? www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  16. 16. Beyond news… News: A story that reports information that was not previously known Features: Articles devoted to a particular topic, typically at length and usually involving analysis, case studies and detail Educator pieces: Informative pieces often presented in list format, such as ‘How to…’ or ‘Seven steps to…’ Op Eds: Opinion pieces/blogs providing personal comment on a particular issue NIBs: News in brief. Also: what’s hot/not; stat of the day; photo & caption etc Case studies: real-life story of a human being (triumph over tragedy, or conflict and resolution) www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  17. 17. Example: Loneliness this Xmas News: Two million older people will spend Christmas alone, says report by Charity X. Feature: Inviting an older person for dinner this Christmas is more than just a nice gesture. You could save their life (featuring case study by Charity X) Educator piece: With research showing two million people will be lonely this Christmas, here’s five ways you can bring joy to their lives Op Ed: It’s a social disgrace that two million pensioners will be on their own this Christmas, says CEO of Charity X NIBs: 10 ways to reduce your plastic consumption this festive season (No 4: Instead of presents, buy a Christmas Dinner for a lonely pensioner from Charity X) Case study: Local resident Alice, 87, suffers from dementia and had been hospitalised six times in a month– until Charity X helped turn her life around. www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  18. 18. How to pitch 1. Identify your story www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  19. 19. Identify your story 1. Audience (Who do you want to reach and what is going to be interesting to them?) 2. The So What? test (Why will people care about your story? Why should they take the time to read your story?) 3. Evidence (What do you know that others don’t?) 4. Human interest (Who are the people involved?) 5. Opinion (What have you got to say and how will this generate debate / advance the conversation?) www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  20. 20. How to pitch 1. Identify your story 2. Match your story to the media www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  21. 21. Match your story to the media 1. Audience (Is this story relevant and interesting to their readers?) 2. Reach (Do you need to tailor to the location or format? Regional v national; print v web-only) 3. Frequency (Will your timelines fit with their press deadlines?) www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  22. 22. www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms Same story; 3 different titles www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  23. 23. How to pitch 1. Identify your story 2. Match your story to the media 3. Test your story’s strength www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  24. 24. Testing your story 1. What are the potential headlines? (If you can’t find an interesting or newsworthy headline, your story probably isn’t interesting or newsworthy) 2. Will this story be of interest to your chosen media? (Have they covered similar stories? If the answer is no, then it’s unlikely they will care about yours) 3. Has it been done before? (Has this story been covered already? If so, what are you saying that is new or different?) 4. Key components (Can you actually deliver all that you promise in terms of data, opinion, case studies etc) www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  25. 25. How to pitch 1. Identify your story 2. Match your story to the media 3. Test your story’s strength 4. Identify the journalist www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  26. 26. How to pitch 1. Identify your story 2. Match your story to the media 3. Test your story’s strength 4. Identify the journalist 5. Make the approach www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  27. 27. How to pitch successfully 1. Tailored approach v blanket email: Both can and do work 2. Be persistent: Nearly half of all journalists receive more than 25 email pitches a day, while producing fewer than 25 pieces a month. 3. Be real: Distributions sent from a named email account rather than a generic one experience higher open rates. 4. Be relevant: Journalists are busy and don’t need to be coddled. You can just send the release. But make sure it’s relevant to them. 5. Include all the necessary info: Journalists are usually up against a deadline and missing details/images can slow them down. 6. Send a Dropbox link: fill this with everything they could possibly need — a press release, press-friendly images, video files… www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  28. 28. How to pitch 1. Identify your story 2. Match your story to the media 3. Test your story’s strength 4. Identify the journalist 5. Make the approach 6. Follow up on the approach www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  29. 29. How to pitch Follow up is important. Journalists are busy. They may not see your email. In fact they probably didn’t. Chase, then chase again. Research by Agility shows that the second email is the one that is more likely to be picked up. Don’t be afraid to resend the same info more than once. But don’t hassle. www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  30. 30. How to pitch 1. Identify your story 2. Match your story to the media 3. Test your story’s strength 4. Identify the journalist 5. Make the approach 6. Follow up on the approach 7. Know when not to pitch www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  31. 31. How to pitch When not to pitch - Press day - Major news day - Between 10am and midday on a Monday - On a Friday - Sunday evenings can be good www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  32. 32. How to pitch 1. Identify your story 2. Match your story to the media 3. Test your story’s strength 4. Identify the journalist 5. Make the approach 6. Follow up on the approach 7. Follow up again 8. Provide the journalist with what they want, when they want it www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  33. 33. Give them what they want 1. You do not control the story, they do 2. Provide them with what you originally promised 3. Meet their brief 4. If you can’t deliver something, offer an alternative 5. Meet their deadlines! 6. If you are not going to meet a deadline, give them plenty of warning www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  34. 34. How to pitch 1. Identify your story 2. Match your story to the media 3. Test your story’s strength 4. Identify the journalist 5. Make the approach 6. Follow up on the approach 7. Follow up again 8. Provide the journalist with what they want, when they want it 9. Share the story via social media www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  35. 35. How to pitch 1. Identify your story 2. Match your story to the media 3. Test your story’s strength 4. Identify the journalist 5. Make the approach 6. Follow up on the approach 7. Follow up again 8. Provide the journalist with what they want, when they want it 9. Share the story via social media 10.Thank the journalist www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  36. 36. Why is this a story? www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  37. 37. Why is this a story? www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  38. 38. Why is this a story? www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  39. 39. Any questions? Slack Communications We help you tell your story Becky Slack managing director 07854 221 568 becky@slackcommunications.co.uk @SlackComms @Becky_Slack www.slackcommunications.co.uk www.slackcommunications.co.uk @Becky_Slack @SlackComms
  40. 40. Small Charities Communications Conference 10 July 2019 London #CCsmallcharity Sponsored by
  41. 41. Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from past events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do: www.charitycomms.org.uk

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