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HOW TO GRAB MEDIA
ATTENTION
And raise your media profile
What are your media aims?
• Media aims might include:
• Raising your profile and/or the profile of colleagues
• Creating a...
Not sure how to identify your media targets?
• Just ask
• Friends and family
• Conduct a survey
• Survey Monkey
• Once you...
Don’t be precious
• This is about getting into the media space consumed by
your target audience
• Don’t forget: big is not...
First steps
• What makes a good press release or news alert?
• Study the examples
• How do you rate them?
• Things to cons...
Grab attention
• The first sentence of a press release or news alert - the
intro - must grab attention
• Think of it as a ...
Killer intros
• What did you write?
• Knostrop wind turbine
• Work to build Leeds’s largest structure begins next week.
• ...
And here’s what the YP did
• Knostrop wind turbine
• http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-
stories/t...
Brownlee Foundation
• What would be your response to this press release?
• Is there a story here?
The YP’s response
• From: Joanna Wardill On Behalf Of YEP Newsdesk
Sent: 30-09-2014 15:39
To: 'Maria O'Connor'
Subject: RE...
British Transport Police
• What about this one?
• What would you do with it?
• http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/...
What makes a press release effective?
• Which of the five press releases was most effective?
• Which was the least effecti...
Writing press releases: the rules
• Rule 1:
• Use an attention-grabbing subject line or headline
• Summarise the story in ...
The rules
• Rule 2:
• Write a killer intro that summarises the story in 15-30
words
• Look at each of the newspaper intros...
The rules
• Rule 3:
• Your intro should always answer the
questions who? And what?
• News is always about people
• About w...
The rules
• Rule 4:
• Do your homework
• Study your target publications
• What sort of stories are they covering?
• How do...
The rules
• Rule 5:
• Timing is everything
• Your ideas need to hit the news desk just as the news editor thinks:
“I need ...
The rules
• Rule 6:
• Make it personal
• It’s a waste of time to send your press release to a generic e mail
address eg @f...
The rules
• Rule 7:
• The pyramid structure
• What has happened?
• How did it
happen?
• Tie it
all
up
• Use the six Ws!
And finally
• The Guardian’s Letter to...feature
• http://gu.com/p/3ch28/sbl
• Every day you meet people whose lives are c...
Any questions?
• Follow-up queries:
• s.featherstone@shu.ac.uk
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Raising your media profile: how to grab media attention - Allied Health Professionals conference, June 03, 2015

How to grab media attention
If you want people to know what you do and how you do it and why what you do is important, you need to TELL them.
Being featured in newspapers, magazines and on TV and radio is a great way to spread the word and raise your media profile.
Unfortunately, lots of other people are also competing for that media space so, to help you get ahead of the competition, here are a few simple tips on how to grab media attention.

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Raising your media profile: how to grab media attention - Allied Health Professionals conference, June 03, 2015

  1. 1. HOW TO GRAB MEDIA ATTENTION And raise your media profile
  2. 2. What are your media aims? • Media aims might include: • Raising your profile and/or the profile of colleagues • Creating awareness about the work you do • Enhancing respect for your work • Building knowledge about the value of your work • What was the purpose of this Q&A profile in the education pages of the Indian Daily Pioneer newspaper? • http://mail.dailypioneer.com/avenues/demanding-yet-stimulating.html • And this article in The Guardian? • http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2015/may/13/wanted-newly-qualified-physiotherapists • Do you want: • To generate new business? (Kate) • Find new recruits? (Chartered Society of Physiotherapists) • Promote a particular product or service? (Physio First) • Or do you want: • To safeguard jobs? • Ring fence services from further NHS cuts? • Encourage customers/clients/patients to make full use of your services? • Who needs to know about you in order to achieve these aims?
  3. 3. Not sure how to identify your media targets? • Just ask • Friends and family • Conduct a survey • Survey Monkey • Once you know who they are, you can work out where to find them • You need to know: • What they read • When they watch • And what they listen to
  4. 4. Don’t be precious • This is about getting into the media space consumed by your target audience • Don’t forget: big is not necessarily beautiful • And seek out the specialists • What’s the best way of attracting press attention?
  5. 5. First steps • What makes a good press release or news alert? • Study the examples • How do you rate them? • Things to consider: • Presentation • Content • KISS • Do these releases grab attention?
  6. 6. Grab attention • The first sentence of a press release or news alert - the intro - must grab attention • Think of it as a gift • You don't give the reader something that pleases you • But something that you hope will please the reader • The intro should also provide a succinct summary of the story • How would you summarise these three releases in a way that might appeal to YP readers?
  7. 7. Killer intros • What did you write? • Knostrop wind turbine • Work to build Leeds’s largest structure begins next week. • Leeds International film Festival • Game of Thrones star Kit Harington and The Wire’s Dominic West to star in opening night film at Leeds International Film Festival. • OR: • Emmerdale star to direct opening night film at Leeds International Film Festival • Spadger's bike ride • Health staff in East and South Leeds are getting on their bikes to raise money for two young people’s charities. • Which would you spike?
  8. 8. And here’s what the YP did • Knostrop wind turbine • http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top- stories/turbine-is-set-to-alter-face-of-leeds-landscape-1-6876939 • Emmerdale star’s revenge thriller opens film festival • http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/features/emmerdale-star-s- revenge-thriller-opens-leeds-international-film-festival-1-6932480 • Spadger’s bike ride • http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top- stories/cyclists-are-ready-to-hit-the-road-in-memory-of-late-leeds- teenager-1-6888140
  9. 9. Brownlee Foundation • What would be your response to this press release? • Is there a story here?
  10. 10. The YP’s response • From: Joanna Wardill On Behalf Of YEP Newsdesk Sent: 30-09-2014 15:39 To: 'Maria O'Connor' Subject: RE: NOTICE TO PRESS: Brownlee Foundation – inaugural event • What day is this taking place? • http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest- news/top-stories/brownlees-inspire-leeds-pupils-to-go-for- gold-1-6872332
  11. 11. British Transport Police • What about this one? • What would you do with it? • http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest- news/top-stories/trio-jailed-after-cable-theft-causes- railway-disruption-1-6872257
  12. 12. What makes a press release effective? • Which of the five press releases was most effective? • Which was the least effective? • How can you write a press release or news alert that grabs attention? • What do you learn from the success or failure of these press releases? • Draw up six simple rules for writing an effective press release
  13. 13. Writing press releases: the rules • Rule 1: • Use an attention-grabbing subject line or headline • Summarise the story in no more than ten words
  14. 14. The rules • Rule 2: • Write a killer intro that summarises the story in 15-30 words • Look at each of the newspaper intros – they tell the whole story in one sentence • If you didn’t know anything else you would know what the story was about
  15. 15. The rules • Rule 3: • Your intro should always answer the questions who? And what? • News is always about people • About what happens to them • And about what they do • Unless it’s about skateboarding ducks • You might also answer the questions when? And where? • Your story should flesh out why? And how?
  16. 16. The rules • Rule 4: • Do your homework • Study your target publications • What sort of stories are they covering? • How do they cover them? • Plan and write your press releases or news alerts accordingly
  17. 17. The rules • Rule 5: • Timing is everything • Your ideas need to hit the news desk just as the news editor thinks: “I need a story about...” • How do you do that? • Planning ahead and understanding about different types of story • On and off diary • Features • Pitching feature ideas • You’re a dietician: how would you sell a seasonal diet and recipe feature to a news editor? • And when?
  18. 18. The rules • Rule 6: • Make it personal • It’s a waste of time to send your press release to a generic e mail address eg @features or @news • Instead always target a named individual • Not sure who that is? • Find out!
  19. 19. The rules • Rule 7: • The pyramid structure • What has happened? • How did it happen? • Tie it all up • Use the six Ws!
  20. 20. And finally • The Guardian’s Letter to...feature • http://gu.com/p/3ch28/sbl • Every day you meet people whose lives are changed for the better because of the work you do • These people are your best publicists • Use them!
  21. 21. Any questions? • Follow-up queries: • s.featherstone@shu.ac.uk

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