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District 5790 Public Relations. To view this PowerPoint show, hit your F5 button or tell PowerPoint to Play Show. Use enter, space bar or your right arrow key to move to the next slide. District 5790 Public Relations. Spreading our Message.

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district 5790 public relations

District 5790 Public Relations

To view this PowerPoint show, hit your F5 button or tell PowerPoint to Play Show.

Use enter, space bar or your right arrow key to move to the next slide.

district 5790 public relations1

District 5790 Public Relations

Spreading our Message

A special how-to with tips and resources for clubs

Rotary District 7590 * www.rotary5790.org

about this show

This show is second in a series meant to give tips on spreading your Rotary messages and resources to help you find answers to questions.

About this show

Space bar or hit enter to progress to next slide.

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so you have news what now
So you have news. What now?

It’s time to write a news release. Even if you plan to call a reporter with the story, it will be helpful to have written info ready to send to him or her.

parts of a news release
Parts of a News Release

Letterhead: This doesn’t have to be on your specific letterhead, but you want to create a similar look for your news release.

Include club name, address, telephone/fax, website address and e-mail.

The makings of a winning news release

parts of a news release1
Parts of a News Release


Type these words somewhere on your release. Avoid the term PRESS RELEASE if you’re sending to media outlets other than newspapers.

The makings of a winning news release

parts of a news release2
Parts of a News Release


This lets the media know the news is ready to be published and not embargoed, or held until a certain date.


Place the date you release the release somewhere on the page.

The makings of a winning news release

parts of a news release3
Parts of a News Release


This is one of the most important parts of the release. Give name, phone number, mobile number and e-mail for the Rotary contact who is prepped to help the media with this story. Make sure this person has a copy of the release, will respond quickly to media calls and can answer to potential reporter questions.

The makings of a winning news release

parts of a news release4
Parts of a News Release


This is one of the first things a reporter will read to decide if he/she wants to read more.

Write headlines in present tense and active voice.

Example: Local Rotarians raise $50 Million in Polio Campaign

The makings of a winning news release

parts of a news release5
Parts of a News Release


This is the city where the release has been crafted. If you’re in Abilene, the dateline is ABILENE, Texas.

The makings of a winning news release

parts of a news release6
Parts of a News Release


This is the first paragraph of your release and is as important (or more) than the headline. The news team will decide whether or not to cover your news or read further at this point.

The makings of a winning news release

parts of a news release7
Parts of a News Release

The makings of a winning news release


Your lead should have the most newsworthy parts of your story. One helpful hint is to think about how you would tell a friend about this project/event/etc. Then work some details into the first paragraph.

parts of a news release8
Parts of a News Release

Inverted pyramid journalists use


Try to incorporate some (not all) of the 5 Ws 1H (who, what, why, when, where, how) into your lead.

Ideally, your lead will only be about 25 words. Keep it short and sweet.

Details can be weaved into the rest of the release. Try to move from the most important details to additional facts and then some background info.

The makings of a winning news release

parts of a news release9
Parts of a News Release


This is where you’ll explain details for the event. You could even add quotes from your club’s president or the group you’re working to help, like the food bank.

The makings of a winning news release

parts of a news release10
Parts of a News Release


Make some kind of notation at the bottom of the release to signal its end.






The makings of a winning news release

parts of a news release11
Parts of a News Release


This is one more way to tell a reporter about your club. It’s a sentence about your club or Rotary International that could be used every time.

The makings of a winning news release


Founded in 1955, the Rotary Club of Fort Worth South is a part of Rotary International, a global network of community volunteers with 1.2 million members. The club’s Web site is www.rcfws.org.

the release is ready to the masses it is
The release is ready. To the masses, it is.

You have news. You have your news release. It’s time to distribute it to your media outlets. But to whom?

media list
Media List
  • A media list is a list of media targets in your area. It should contain contact info like names, phone numbers, fax numbers, e-mail addresses for editors, journalists, and news directors who might cover your news.
  • Your club may have a list and you’ll just need to update it.
  • Chambers of commerce sometimes have media lists available to members that make a great starting spot.
  • Area public relations undergraduates might be a good resource for creating a list for internship credit

Getting your news to the news

media list1
Media List

A sample media list to get you started

media list2
Media List
  • Consume your local media.
  • Look for reporters who cover organizations like yours or similar projects. Make notes or add to your media list.
  • Look for special sections or segments that complement your club or your Rotarians
    • WFAA (DFW) has a segment called Texans with Character that is right up our alley.
    • Business publications typically run special sections like “40 under 40” or “Texas Women” to honor individuals. Nominate an appropriate club member.

Getting your news to the news

media list3
Media List
  • Don’t forget the Internet and other outlets that touch many readers or viewers
  • School district Web site (especially for 4 Way Test Speech contest)
  • College Web sites and media outlets (Rotaract events)
  • Greensheet or other free pick-up publications
  • Popular blog sites
  • Twitter (find a club member who tweets to tweet after each meeting)

Getting your news to the news

distribution time
Distribution time!

You have news. You have your news release. You have a media list. It’s time to distribute it to your media outlets.

contacting the media
Contacting the media

Remember that the media professionals are not the enemy. They LOVE great stories and are always looking for the next one. You may just have it.

Media professionals also like to hear from THEIR viewers or readers.

Ideally, you’d contact the individuals on your media list based on their preferences. Some really rely on e-mail and others can’t sift through the 1,000s of e-mail messages a day.

Pitching your story and sending your release

Rotary District 7590 * www.rotary5790.org

e mail contacting the media
E-mail: Contacting the media

E-mail: Your chances are better if you have a reporter’s e-mail. The generic [email protected] type address will go into the abyss. It’s even better if this reporter will recognize your name and OPEN the message.

Give it a subject line like STORY IDEA or part of your headline.

Attachment or in the body of the message: I’ve had better luck pasting the body of my news release in the message and attaching the official one or providing a Word doc when requested. See the sample on the next page.

Pitching your story and sending your release

e mail contacting the media1
E-mail: Contacting the media

Pitching your story and sending your release

e mail contacting the media2
E-mail: Contacting the media

Pitching your story and sending your release

BCC: Don’t CC a bunch of reporters. If you are sending one e-mail to a group of reporters, use the blind carbon copy feature in your e-mail.

LETTERHEAD: If pasting your release into the body of your release, you can eliminate graphics.

CHECK YOUR E-MAIL: If you send a release via e-mail, check your Inbox often for reporter response. A reporter will want a prompt response.

phone contacting the media
Phone: Contacting the media

Pitching a story over the phone

Picking the right time to call is key. You don’t want to call during a deadline. For outlets with an evening deadline (television stations and most newspapers), you’ll want to call mid-morning. Some will be in the office at 10 or so.

Don’t make apologies for your call. Say you have a story idea you’d like to pitch and then hit it. You want to verbally re-cap your release in a sentence or two. Play up the newsworthiness and why the story is a good fit for that reporter’s publication and audience.

Pitching your story and sending your release

phone contacting the media1
Phone: Contacting the media

Yes or no. The advantage to a telephone call is that you will get an immediate feel for if the story is a good fit.

More info. The reporter will probably ask for you to get info to him/her immediately. Ask for his/her preference of delivery (e-mail/fax), verify the correct number/e-mail and send it immediately .

Pitching your story and sending your release

NO! If you get a “no,” no worries. Be gracious. Don’t get pushy or upset or argue. You want to be able to pitch another idea some day in the future.

fax contacting the media
Fax: Contacting the media

Faxing your news release

While cheap and fast, a faxed news release can become one sheet out of 500 for that hour. Most reporters do not want an unsolicited fax. This can also be a way to send your release to the abyss.

Pitching your story and sending your release

If a reporter asks you to fax: Verify the fax number you have in your media list. You might ask for the number to the fax machine closest to the reporter or the newsroom.

Rotary District 7590 * www.rotary5790.org

follow up miscellaneous
Follow Up & Miscellaneous
  • If you e-mail, fax or mail a release, follow up on it.
  • For a release about an event, send your release a week or so before an event and follow up a day or two before. If you’re working with a monthly or weekly publication, send our your release sooner. Know the publication’s deadlines.
  • Sell the story. Be careful that you are not asking the news media to advertise for Rotary. You are looking to spread Rotary’s message and the mass media is one way to do this. It also gives a media outlet a great community story.
  • Have a newsworthy story to sell. You don’t want to gain a reputation for sending news releases without any news.

Pitching your story and sending your release

more than a news article
More than a News Article

Other opportunities exist for your public relations efforts.

PHOTOS: Media outlets need visuals. You can invite photographers to events or submit photos the club shutterbug has taken.

LETTERS TO EDITOR: Look at the publication’s policies before writing. Make the letter timely and connected to an editorial, other letter or something in the news.

GUEST COLUMN: Read others that have run in the publication. Gather your thoughts and then pitch the idea to the editorial page editor.

More details in Effective Public Relations

public relations planning
Public Relations


See the third show in this series for ideas and how to plan your public relations.

district 5790 pr network
District 5790 PR Network
  • Connecting club public relations chairs and others to share ideas, successes, etc.
  • Public relations chairs are encouraged to join the network
  • Simply send an e-mail to [email protected] (use “Subscribe “as your subject line)

Rotary District 7590 * www.rotary5790.org

resources for your club
Resources for Your Club
  • Rotary International site: www.rotary.org
  • RI Public Service Ads/Announcements
  • District site: www.rotary5790.org
  • PR Network for District 5790: [email protected]
  • PR Tips e-mail: through www.rotary.org
  • Jeff Crilley’s e-newsletter: www.realnewspr.com
  • Effective Public Relations: a book from Rotary
great resource for your club
Great Resource for Your Club

Effective Public Relations is a book available through Rotary.org.

Rotary District 7590 * www.rotary5790.org

sources contact
Sources & Contact
  • Images and logos from Rotary.org
  • Effective Public Relations: A Guide for Rotary Clubs ([email protected])
  • Inside Reporting by Tim Harrower
  • The PR Style Guide by Barbara Diggs-Brown
  • Sarah Maben, Rotary Club of FW SouthDistrict 5790 PR Chair, 817-291-1997

[email protected], http://www.rcfws.org

Rotary District 7590 * www.rotary5790.org