Crossroads of America Council Boy Scouts of America District PR Chair Meeting December 9, 2008
Agenda <ul><li>Introductions </li></ul><ul><li>What is public relations? </li></ul><ul><li>Why media relations? </li></ul>...
 
Introductions
PR Versus Marketing <ul><li>Marketing is “selling what the company makes” and P.R. is  “selling what makes the company”  –...
People who think well   of Scouting are more likely to: <ul><li>Join  </li></ul><ul><li>Recommend membership to others  </...
Bottom Line <ul><li>Increased awareness helps with: </li></ul><ul><li>Recruitment and retention of Scouts and volunteers <...
Council PR Support <ul><li>Shelly Grimes: Marketing and PR Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>sgrimes@crossroadsbsa.org/  (317)...
Role of PR/Marketing Committee <ul><li>Communications expertise from community </li></ul><ul><li>Connects Scouting with ot...
Council-wide activities <ul><li>Calendar Specific Events </li></ul><ul><li>Scouting Anniversary </li></ul><ul><li>Scouting...
Council Responsibilities <ul><li>Council wide programs (popcorn, Scouting for Food, membership) </li></ul><ul><li>Major me...
District Responsibilities <ul><li>Develop and pitch story ideas about Scouting to local media. </li></ul><ul><li>Write and...
Unit Responsibilities <ul><li>Contact charter organization with unit news </li></ul><ul><li>Develop contact list for neigh...
District PR Efforts in  2009 <ul><li>Focus on recruiting and retaining district PR chairs </li></ul><ul><li>Provide organi...
Unit PR in 2009 <ul><li>Identify and recruit more unit PR chairs </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to focus on positive public re...
Why media relations?
Media relations is critical <ul><li>Media is invasive in our society (we can’t hide from it) </li></ul><ul><li>Media relat...
So how are we going to get our stories in the hands of media?
Building a plan <ul><li>List activities you want to publicize as well as when and how they will be publicized </li></ul><u...
Audiences <ul><li>Who do you want to reach? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Common audiences are: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Current...
How can we reach our audiences? <ul><li>There are many ways including:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>News media </li></ul></ul><u...
Takeaways <ul><li>What you can expect from us: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistance in reaching your goals with appropriate co...
Questions/Discussion
APPENDIX
Ways to Communicate <ul><li>Press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Short summaries (for newsletters, calendar events) </li></ul>...
Good story ideas What makes something newsworthy? Timeliness  Trends Impact  Conflict  Human interest  Prominence  Novelty...
Media Relations  Tips and Tricks <ul><li>Know and respect deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Respect reporter’s profession </li><...
Press Release Tips Press Release Tips (or center  “ -MORE-”  if multiple pages)
Creating newsletters <ul><li>Timeliness is critical </li></ul><ul><li>Documents need to be easy to read and non-threatenin...
For more information: http://www.usda.gov/news/pubs/fcn/intro.htm http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp http://www.w...
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District Public Relations Chair Training (Power Point)

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  • Think of it in terms of recruiting Cub Scouts: When you talk to 8-year old boys, you’re marketing the Scouting program– the camping trips, the BB guns, the Monster Truck Jam. When you talk to their parents, you’re doing more of a public-relations approach: You’re telling them how Scouting will benefit their son and will teach him lessons that will last a lifetime.
  • 2008 objectives: Working on filling District PR Chairs and Unit PR chairs. We’ll provide training, toolkits, support materials and templates. This hasn’t been updated in a number of years, so please bear with us as we work to get things up to date. You’ll see more information about this throughout the year. District and unit chair job descriptions are included in your packets and if you are interested in signing up, please let me know.
  • Think of all the messages you’re exposed to every day– the e-mails, the Web sites, the newspapers, the commercials, radio shows, billboards, the television programs, the movies, the books, the magazines the text messages. A recent Ball State study found that 2/3 of our waking hours are spent consuming media. While media is cost effective, it is very powerful. A single ad could cost $10,000 – an article can be worth 10 times that amount The media-PR relationship is a transaction: Reporters want a good story for their readers/viewers PR people want to get their information out in the media Winning happens when both sides get what they want
  • Here are some things to think about as you go along. We’ll cover these a little more in detail in a minute when I get to the tips and tricks section.
  • Because we’re bombarded with so many messages, we have to find strategic ways to cut through the clutter to reach the people we’re trying to reach. Example: In past years, the council had spent lots of money doing Race Into Scouting radio advertising that reached a variety of broad audiences on a random selection of radio stations. While a mass-media approach is sometimes okay, the council no longer felt that it was an effective strategy in terms of cost or results. So this year, instead of trying “catch-all” advertising, we went with advertising in a local magazine called “Indy Moms,” because our research showed that moms are the primary decision-makers on whether their kids join Scouting or not. Don’t only focus on your local daily paper. Example: For those of you who live in Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Star now has community editions of the newspaper. Instead of sending to the daily Indianapolis Star, consider sending to the bi-weekly Indy Star Community page relevant to where you live. They are usually begging for ideas– and will print what you submit, almost word-for-word. The staffs of these papers are often shared between several community papers, so by submitting information to them, you’re helping ease their work load– again, this creates a mutually beneficial relationship. For those of you from smaller communities, think of it this way: are you more likely to read your small-town newspaper, or a broad-reaching mass medium? Most people prefer their most local media. But just because you’re from a smaller town doesn’t necessarily mean you have fewer options. Other media to consider: Here are just a few examples to get your brains going. Any other examples? Concerns about Web sites? We’ll focus on the best modes to get the information to these media in a moment when we talk about tactics. First, we’re going to discuss what makes someone care.
  • I’m going to open it up for questions and discussion. Discussion questions: 1.) Can anybody share an example of what has worked for their unit? 2.) Has anyone considered bringing the local media in– having them do a day at camp, or do arts and crafts with the kids? Pinewood Derby example. 3.) What are your biggest concerns when it comes to media relations? 4.) Does anyone here have a good relationship with a reporter? How was that relationship created and how has it been fostered since? 5.) What challenges do you all face with getting your stories out?
  • It’s not just about press releases– there are other tactics that are sometimes more effective. Press release template is included in your packet.
  • Why should anyone care? As I touched on before, this isn’t jus about endlessly promoting Scouting. We need to give media something that is newsworthy or else we are wasting our time and theirs. Think about it as if you had no idea about Scouting– what would spark your interest? Timeliness- Perhaps the most vital to newspapers– we’re an instant gratification culture. We do things, expect results and then forget about them– and our media operates the same way. It’s relevant for a short window before, during and after the event– then reporters have to move on. Planning ahead will help ensure you’re able to capitalize on this window of time. Impact- What are the lasting effects of the event? Does it make a difference for a lot of people? Human interest- This is where you can focus on the more emotional elements. Do you have a Scout that’s overcome big odds? That is doing some huge service project? Do you have a Scoutmaster or other leader that has a great story to tell? What makes your troop or pack stand out? Tell that story! Novelty- Do you have some unique event coming up that is out-of-the-ordinary? Example: Pinewood Derby at Indiana State Museum Trends- Are the number of Scouts in your area increasing? Do Scout alumni in your area have high rates of success after they leave the program? Do you have more volunteers than normal? Are attendance numbers increasing? These facts can help craft an interesting story telling the value of Scouting. Conflict- This is one to be wary on, but a very common story that is in the media. The media likes to have a victim/villain dynamic. Conflict catches interest because that means there are at least a few points of view that the reporter can examine. Prominence- This is the one that makes tabloids write non-stop about Britney Spears– she’s a recognizable, prominent figure. On the Scouting level, do you have community decision-makers, CEOs, high-profile government officials, or other recognizable people involved in your program? This is something you can capitalize on that makes an interesting angle to a story. Proximity- This goes back to the idea that local news is the most important to people. People in Anderson aren’t going to write about what people in Terre Haute are doing, unless it directly affects them in some way. Now that you have story ideas in place, let’s move on to how to best tell your story.
  • Here are some ground rules that will help foster the mutually beneficial relationship. Know and respect deadlines– absolutely essential. If you don’t deliver on your promise, not only will there not be a story, but the reporter is likely to ignore any future requests you offer them. You don’t want a reputation of being hard to work with– that often makes or breaks what a reporter decides to cover. Every outlet has its own deadline schedule. Ask the reporter up front what their deadline is. Realize that monthly magazines have deadlines months in advance. Also remember that gathering news takes time– they can’t necessarily drop everything to focus on YOUR story. Give them lots of lead time. Respect reporter’s profession– treat them like you’d want to be treated, and really be an ambassador for the positive values Scouting instills. Become a source– Maybe not every story you have will be included, but if they know you’re a wealth of information, they’re likely to use you. Never ask for or demand coverage– it’s one way to ensure you won’t get it. Never try to buy a journalist- they demand respect and integrity Read the paper AND the journalist’s articles– show them you know what you’re talking about and that you appreciate their work. Always call and call back- again, if you don’t deliver on your promises, you won’t be getting any kind of coverage. If you send an e-mail, follow it up with a phone call saying, “I wondered if you were aware…” Never bring up advertising– you may work for a company that is a major advertiser in that particular paper, but don’t expect favors because of that– chances are the reporter might not even be aware of that, and it makes you sound desperate and manipulative. Know their preferred communication channel- Do they prefer e-mail or phone? Whenever you’re talking to a reporter, it’s easy to ask them how you should contact them in the future. NEVER LIE- Never. Either you’ll be found out or there will be incorrect information distributed– and once it’s out there, it’s hard to control and fix. Don’t badger, SPAM or generally stalk– Reporters are busy people. If you’re sending them something every single day, your chances of being ignored increase greatly. Instead, only go to them when it’s actual news. This again goes back to thinking of it as a strategy. Have a database to work from– know your reporters, log what they write about and when they wrote it, what their interests and ties to Scouting are– this will become your best asset. Have ONE spokesperson- You wouldn’t want to chase down 5 different people to find out what’s going on, and either does a reporter. They have easier stories they can write if you start bouncing them around. Have one person serve as the contact point that can funnel the reporter’s questions. It’s perfectly acceptable for that person to give them the contact numbers of anyone mentioned in the story after that initial point of contact. But this helps reinforce the idea of being a source, and helps the reporter get what they need– MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL!
  • I’ve included in your packet a press release that has some tips on writing the release. I’m going to go over some of the more basic press release elements now so you understand them: Release date- upper left hand corner; this lets them know that once they get the information, they can run it. For Immediate Release is always best option– if you send the release earlier than the date you give “permission” for it to run, you can run into problems of them not holding the information or forgetting about it. Contact information- give them every kind of contact info you can to make their job easier. Dateline- This is where you put the city and date of the release. Headline and lead sentence: Reporters will decide in a matter of seconds whether they’ll read the rest of the release or not– so make it interesting, and make sure the lead sentence answers a few of the major points right away: Who, what, where, when, why and how. All of these questions should be answered at some point in the release, but the most important should be listed there. Also, on your headline– make sure it has a verb in it! This leads to how to structure the release: Put the most important information at the top and build the paragraphs in order of most important to least important. That way, if the reporter doesn’t read all the way through the release, they at least have the basics. Quotes give color to the story and make the reporter’s job easier because now they may not have to track that person down. However, you should only use them when they add something to the story. At the bottom, you see what is called a boiler plate. This is what some people call a “tag line” that is included with every press release at the bottom to give reporters background information on where this release is coming from. At the bottom of the page, you should include three pound signs to show that the release has ended. If you go to more than one page, write –MORE- centered bottom in the page so they know there is an extra page.
  • There is so much more out there if you’re looking for great ideas– here are some places to start! So just to recap, today we discussed what public relations is and why it is so important, how media relations plays into the mix, how to plan for media relations, tips and tricks for working with the media, and writing a press release and creating publications.
  • District Public Relations Chair Training (Power Point)

    1. 1. Crossroads of America Council Boy Scouts of America District PR Chair Meeting December 9, 2008
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Introductions </li></ul><ul><li>What is public relations? </li></ul><ul><li>Why media relations? </li></ul><ul><li>Getting your story out </li></ul><ul><li>Questions and Discussion </li></ul>
    3. 4. Introductions
    4. 5. PR Versus Marketing <ul><li>Marketing is “selling what the company makes” and P.R. is “selling what makes the company” – Bob Gildea </li></ul><ul><li>For Scouting – this translates into: </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing sells the Scouting programs, P.R. sells the value of Scouting </li></ul>
    5. 6. People who think well of Scouting are more likely to: <ul><li>Join </li></ul><ul><li>Recommend membership to others </li></ul><ul><li>Recommend others to donate </li></ul><ul><li>Doubt negative information </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer or work (and continue to work) for the organization </li></ul>
    6. 7. Bottom Line <ul><li>Increased awareness helps with: </li></ul><ul><li>Recruitment and retention of Scouts and volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraising efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Positive feelings toward Scouting </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiation from other youth programs </li></ul>
    7. 8. Council PR Support <ul><li>Shelly Grimes: Marketing and PR Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>sgrimes@crossroadsbsa.org/ (317) 925-1900 x. 224 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Full-time staff member </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Day-to-day pr/marketing contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your link to communications support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lead for Crossroads newsletter, Eagle Scout communications, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Debbie Davis: Triad Public Relations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultant (part-time) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crisis management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Major gifts campaign </li></ul></ul>
    8. 9. Role of PR/Marketing Committee <ul><li>Communications expertise from community </li></ul><ul><li>Connects Scouting with others </li></ul><ul><li>Provide guidance to support President’s goal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scouting programs and services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crisis communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Style Guide </li></ul></ul>
    9. 10. Council-wide activities <ul><li>Calendar Specific Events </li></ul><ul><li>Scouting Anniversary </li></ul><ul><li>Scouting for Food </li></ul><ul><li>Awards Dinner </li></ul><ul><li>Cookout on the Circle </li></ul><ul><li>Fall membership drive </li></ul><ul><li>Popcorn Sales </li></ul><ul><li>Good Turn Day </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing </li></ul><ul><li>Human interest stories </li></ul><ul><li>Stories aligned with major gifts campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation for 100 th Anniversary in 2010 </li></ul>
    10. 11. Council Responsibilities <ul><li>Council wide programs (popcorn, Scouting for Food, membership) </li></ul><ul><li>Major media contact </li></ul><ul><li>Distribute public service announcements and scripts </li></ul><ul><li>Write and distribute Eagle Award press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Contact for TV stations and Indianapolis Star human interest stories </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor press clippings </li></ul><ul><li>Lead crisis communications efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Keep district PR chairs informed </li></ul><ul><li>Manage style guide and media database </li></ul>
    11. 12. District Responsibilities <ul><li>Develop and pitch story ideas about Scouting to local media. </li></ul><ul><li>Write and distribute district-specific press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Using master media list, create a district media contact list </li></ul><ul><li>Work with district committee to develop & distribute a district newsletter to volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit, encourage, motivate & coordinate activities with unit public relations chairs </li></ul><ul><li>Share pictures and video of district events </li></ul><ul><li>Keep council informed of coverage in your area </li></ul>
    12. 13. Unit Responsibilities <ul><li>Contact charter organization with unit news </li></ul><ul><li>Develop contact list for neighborhood, school, church newsletters, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Complete unit press release templates and send to contact list </li></ul><ul><li>Notify district PR chair of potential stories </li></ul><ul><li>Share pictures & video of unit events </li></ul><ul><li>Contact newspapers or radio stations with district PR chair approval </li></ul>
    13. 14. District PR Efforts in 2009 <ul><li>Focus on recruiting and retaining district PR chairs </li></ul><ul><li>Provide organized communications between council and district PR chairs </li></ul><ul><li>Update toolkits and templates to make work easier and consistent </li></ul><ul><li>Develop additional training </li></ul>
    14. 15. Unit PR in 2009 <ul><li>Identify and recruit more unit PR chairs </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to focus on positive public relations for units </li></ul><ul><li>Increased attention on human interest stories </li></ul><ul><li>Provide more tools and communication from council including more templates </li></ul><ul><li>Add more training </li></ul><ul><li>Update & promote Unit PR award system </li></ul>
    15. 16. Why media relations?
    16. 17. Media relations is critical <ul><li>Media is invasive in our society (we can’t hide from it) </li></ul><ul><li>Media relations offers a way to take messages to the masses, without a million-dollar ad campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Media relations offers third-party credibility, that no amount of ad money can buy </li></ul><ul><li>Cuts through the clutter of messages that people receive </li></ul>
    17. 18. So how are we going to get our stories in the hands of media?
    18. 19. Building a plan <ul><li>List activities you want to publicize as well as when and how they will be publicized </li></ul><ul><li>Determine which media outlets are appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>List other sources that may be interested (newsletters, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Determine contacts and deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a process within your district for submission and review </li></ul><ul><li>Set ground rules upfront to ensure media doesn’t get bombarded </li></ul><ul><li>Let the council know so we can watch for it! </li></ul>
    19. 20. Audiences <ul><li>Who do you want to reach? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Common audiences are: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Current Scouts/ families </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prospective Scouts/families </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Public </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Media </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 21. How can we reach our audiences? <ul><li>There are many ways including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>News media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crossroads newsletter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School newsletters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Church bulletins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Home owner’s association newsletters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weekly community papers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local radio shows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community calendars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Web sites and message boards </li></ul></ul>
    21. 22. Takeaways <ul><li>What you can expect from us: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistance in reaching your goals with appropriate communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration on materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More effective strategies to reach your key audiences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What we need from you: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate early and often with us </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participate in training activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share all of the stories you hear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support for deadlines (internal and external) </li></ul></ul>
    22. 23. Questions/Discussion
    23. 24. APPENDIX
    24. 25. Ways to Communicate <ul><li>Press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Short summaries (for newsletters, calendar events) </li></ul><ul><li>E-mails/ phone calls </li></ul><ul><li>Photographs (with signed talent releases) </li></ul><ul><li>Letter to the Editor </li></ul><ul><li>Speeches </li></ul><ul><li>Word of Mouth </li></ul>
    25. 26. Good story ideas What makes something newsworthy? Timeliness Trends Impact Conflict Human interest Prominence Novelty Proximity
    26. 27. Media Relations Tips and Tricks <ul><li>Know and respect deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Respect reporter’s profession </li></ul><ul><li>Become a source; Stay in touch with pitches and news </li></ul><ul><li>Never ask for or demand coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Never try to buy a journalist </li></ul><ul><li>Read the paper AND the journalist’s articles </li></ul><ul><li>Send thank you notes! </li></ul><ul><li>Always call and call back; sense of urgency. </li></ul><ul><li>Never bring up advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Know their preferred communication channel </li></ul><ul><li>Never lie! </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t badger, SPAM or generally stalk– only contact them with real news </li></ul><ul><li>Have a database </li></ul><ul><li>Have ONE point of contact- don’t shuffle them around! </li></ul>
    27. 28. Press Release Tips Press Release Tips (or center “ -MORE-” if multiple pages)
    28. 29. Creating newsletters <ul><li>Timeliness is critical </li></ul><ul><li>Documents need to be easy to read and non-threatening </li></ul><ul><li>The design needs to be user friendly </li></ul><ul><li>The key objective for the reader to understand the information, remember it and act upon it. </li></ul>
    29. 30. For more information: http://www.usda.gov/news/pubs/fcn/intro.htm http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Press-Release http://www.prwebdirect.com/pressreleasetips.php

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