45 Tips in 45 Minutes

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Develop an Effective Communications Strategy for Your Project: 45 Tips in 45 Minutes, Pat Wood, FCN Director of Communications, 2005

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45 Tips in 45 Minutes

  1. 1. Develop an Effective Communications Strategy for Your Project: 45 Tips in 45 Minutes Patricia B. Wood Director of Communications Federal Consulting Group U.S. Department of the Treasury July 12, 2005 July 12, 2005
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>What is your agency or cross-agency project and what do you need (or have) to do outreach </li></ul><ul><li>45 + outreach and communication tips and resources </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm—share your ideas and successes </li></ul><ul><li>Wrap-up </li></ul>
  3. 3. Your Projects and Needs <ul><li>What are your projects </li></ul><ul><li>What outreach and communication strategies do you need (or have) </li></ul><ul><li>What do you expect from this workshop </li></ul>
  4. 4. Develop Your Outreach Strategy <ul><li>Make friends with your Public Affairs Office </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you want to publicize your project? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High score </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Award </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educate a customer segment </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Develop Your Outreach Strategy <ul><li>How does your project’s mission fit your agency’s or cross-agency goals and objectives </li></ul><ul><li>What about President’s Management Agenda? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is your audience? </li></ul><ul><li>What media reach your audience? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your message </li></ul>
  6. 6. Working with Media <ul><li>What media would want your story? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Newspapers (which newspapers?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Radio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TV </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dot-com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Magazine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Newsletter </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Understanding Reporters <ul><li>Work with your PA office to make a list of media that should be interested in your project and how to contact them </li></ul><ul><li>Find out what reporters, feature writers and columnists want </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule an appointment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stories or story ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How? Fax, Phone, Email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are their deadlines </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Relating to Media <ul><li>It’s all about relationships, relationships, relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce yourself—Call a reporter or columnist (or get your PA spokesperson to call) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Send out a press kit with general information, a one-page fact sheet, a few story ideas, and a cover letter introducing you or your team leader </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Relating to Media <ul><li>Always ask a reporter: Is this a good time to talk? </li></ul><ul><li>Assume that anything you say to a reporter is on the record </li></ul><ul><li>Find out if you should pitch your story to the reporter or the editor </li></ul>
  10. 10. Relating to Media <ul><li>Always return a reporter’s phone calls </li></ul><ul><li>Always tell the truth </li></ul><ul><li>If you can’t answer a reporter’s question(s), say so and offer to get the information </li></ul><ul><li>Make a list of the officials who know your project who could be interviewed </li></ul>
  11. 11. Writing Press Releases <ul><li>Write short, interesting news releases or fact sheets in plain language </li></ul><ul><li>Put facts first, use quotes, and don’t put name of the head of the agency in the first paragraph </li></ul><ul><li>Find the angle or lead sentence that will grab the reporter </li></ul>
  12. 12. Doing Media Interviews <ul><li>Refine three positive talking points </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t use jargon </li></ul><ul><li>Personalize and humanize your information </li></ul><ul><li>Research your interviewer </li></ul>
  13. 13. Doing Media Interviews <ul><li>Never say “No comment.” </li></ul><ul><li>Never say anything off the record (assume everything is on the record) </li></ul><ul><li>Never say “uh.” </li></ul><ul><li>Never be interviewed without doing your homework. </li></ul>
  14. 14. What Else Can You Do to Reach Your Audience? <ul><li>Tell your employees first. They will tell others. Get your story in the newsletter & on the intranet. </li></ul><ul><li>Tell librarians—They love government information and pass it on. </li></ul><ul><li>Put your story on the Internet. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Public Affairs Resources <ul><li>100+ Marketing and PR Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.sba.gov/managing/marketing/100ideas.html </li></ul><ul><li>PR Tool Kit </li></ul><ul><li>http://toolkit.prnewswire.com/smallbusinessadministration/writingtips.shtml </li></ul>
  16. 16. Public Affairs Resources <ul><li>Communicators Guide from the Federal Communicators Network </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.usda.gov/news/pubs/fcn/table.htm </li></ul>
  17. 17. Public Affairs Resources <ul><li>Join the Federal Communicators Network (FCN). </li></ul><ul><li>Complete this page and submit: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.fcn.gov/members/join.htm </li></ul>
  18. 18. How to Reach Me <ul><li>Patricia B. Wood (Pat Wood) </li></ul><ul><li>Director of Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Consulting Group </li></ul><ul><li>(202) 906-7049 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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