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This presentation was modified. The original version can be found at and is made possible by the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps alums and AmeriCorps What’s included? . Introductions & AmeriCorps Week Goals

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This presentation was modified. The original version can be found at and is made possible by the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps alums and AmeriCorps


What’s included?

Introductions & AmeriCorps Week Goals

Why media outreach is important and how it can help generate awareness about your project

Different kinds of media and how to get press

A word from the field

Going viral: Grow the movement

Register Your Project

Where to get resources

Q & A



Media Matters

  • More participation
  • More funding
  • Stronger pool of potential HandsOn Corps AmeriCorps members
  • Stronger sense of community
  • Engages broader range of people
  • Great way to get recognition for efforts

Words from the Field

Serving as a VISTA has afforded me the opportunity to see transformation happen in community. Using my background and desire to work alongside community members has contributed to exponential growth in how residents and leaders are engaging each other. Community Gardens have been cultivated and learning circles are being used to make sure that communities stay vital and sustainable. – A.M. Rosier, 2nd year VISTA, HandsOn Charlotte


AmeriCorps Week Messages

  • AmeriCorps Tackles America’s Toughest Problems
  • AmeriCorps Builds Lifelong Civic Leaders
  • AmeriCorps is a Leading Driver of Social Innovation and Nonprofit Success
  • AmeriCorps is Expanding

Different Kinds of Press

  • Earned media
  • Paid media
  • Partnerships/Word of Mouth

Earned Media

  • Newspaper – Event or Feature Story
  • TV and Radio
  • Letter to the Editor or Op-Ed
  • Editorial
  • Blog entry

Traditional PR activities:


Paid Media

  • TV commercials
  • Print ads
  • Blog ads or targeted search

*Usually only good when have a large budget


Word of Mouth

  • Emails to LISTSERVs
  • Facebook/Twitter/MySpace
  • Partner organizations
  • Local businesses
  • Blogs

10 Tips for Getting Press

  • Show How AmeriCorps is Meeting a Local Need
  • Focus on the three E’s (environment, education and economic recovery)
  •  Invite a Local VIP
  • Profile a Member
  • Honor Alums – visit

10 Tips for Getting Press

  • Honor AmeriCorps VISTA and National Direct Members
  • Highlight Recruitment
  • Highlight the Convergence of Support
  • Write a Letter to the Editor or Op-ed
  • Get on Radio or TV

Download the full list of tips at :


Step 1: Create a Publicity Plan

  • Timing of events
  • Targeted media list
  • List of documents/invitations/signage needed
  • Main message for your organization
  • Assigning responsibilities to specific individuals (who’s doing what?)

Step 2: Plan Your Event with Media in Mind

  • Late morning or early afternoon are the best times to attract media
  • Logo/branding identification for AmeriCorps and your organization
  • Invite media when action is happening, not just speeches
  • Have press info at event and on the internet
  • Designate lead spokesperson who can deliver message
  • Think visuals (TV wants fun and exciting visuals)

Step 3: Target Media Sooner than Later

  • Assemble your list to include:
    • Top editor, city/community editor for local paper
    • News editor/station manager of local TV
    • News editor/station manager of local radio station
    • Online editor/manager for locally-focused websites/blogs
    • Editors of special interest weeklies/monthlies
  • Write a media advisory, alerting them to event
  • Send out media advisory 10 days to 2 weeks before the event

Media Advisory

  • Who, What, When, Where, Why
  • Keep it short
  • Most important information
  • Most eye-catching information
  • The “Why” is the top message of the event
  • Make follow up calls

Sample Media Advisory

Sample Media Advisory For AmeriCorps Week Event



[NAME OF AFFILIATE] Takes Part in AmeriCorps Week

[City, State] -- As part of the nationwide AmeriCorps Week, May 8-15, [Name of Affiliate will honor HandsOn Corps AmeriCorps members who serve with their organization at [service project or event] on [date].

The event will feature [speaker] in recognizing the [number] of HandsOn AmeriCorps members who are [list activities and positions with [grantee]. In addition [describe other key program elements or service event, especially any element that makes the event unique, newsworthy, or visually appealing]. The public is invited to attend and take part in all these activities.

Since its inception in 1994, 637,000 Americans have given more than 770 million hours of service through AmeriCorps, including [NUMBER FROM STATE PROFILE] from [STATE]. HandsOn Corps AmeriCorps members help students learn to read, mentor at-risk youth, provide health services, build homes for low-income families, and help nonprofits recruit more volunteers and better achieve their mission.






AmeriCorps Week, May 8-15, is a recruitment and recognition event designed to bring more Americans into service, salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their powerful impact, and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible. For more information, visit



Step 4: Send Press Releases-Alert Your Network

  • Send out a press release the morning of your event
  • Make sure you are in communication with your networks and let them know about the event
  • Stay in touch with bloggers

Press Release

  • Your own article about the event
  • Most important information in the headline and first paragraph
  • Good quote from spokesperson or leader
  • Number of people in attendance or expected
  • In-line with messaging of the week/event
  • Logo well-placed at top

Sample Press Release

Insert Your Affiliate Logo Here

For Immediate Release

Local Contact: Insert Name National Contact: KaCey Venning

Affiliate Name HandsOn Network

Position Manager, AmeriCorps Member Development

Contact number 404.979.2919

Email address

[NAME OF AFFILIATE] Celebrates AmeriCorps Week

AmeriCorps Members to be Recognized for Answering the Call to Service

 [CITY, STATE]— [AFFILIATE] AmeriCorps, which has been in existence for nearly two decades, works with existing organizations to help them reach more people and better achieve their mission.  In 2009, the nation’s 75,000 AmeriCorps members recruited 2.4 million community volunteers to serve alongside them in some 3,300 nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations across the country.

“We are proud to be part of AmeriCorps and grateful for the AmeriCorps members who are getting things done,” said Lynn Wilson, Director of National Service at HandsOn Network, the national office that sub grants Corps members to [AFFILIATE].  “AmeriCorps members have made a tremendous local impact allowing [AFFILIATE] to extend our outreach and services by recruiting [number #] of community volunteers to work alongside them,” states [NAME], [TITLE]. Since 1994, 637,000 men and women have joined AmeriCorps, and they have given more than 770 million hours of service to their country. 

[AFFILIATE] is planning several events during AmeriCorps Week, allowing community residents to learn about, and participate in, AmeriCorps programs, including: [INSERT AMERICORPS WEEK EVENT INFORMATION HERE.]

You can also join in the celebration through Twitter.  Tweet into the conversation stream about the important work of AmeriCorps by searching for hashtags #handsoncorps, #acweek, #1000TWOL or [insert Affiliate hashtag here].

For more information contact us at [AFFILIATE WEBISTE AND CONTACT INFORMATION]and at

About HandsOn Network

HandsOn Network, the volunteer-focused arm of Points of Light Institute, is the largest volunteer network in the nation and includes more than 250 HandsOn Action Centers in 16 countries.  HandsOn includes a powerful network of more than 70,000 corporate, faith and nonprofit organizations that are answering the call to serve and creating meaningful change in their communities.  Annually, the network delivers approximately 30 million hours of volunteer service valued at about $600 million. For more information, please visit

About HandsOn Corps

The HandsOn Corps AmeriCorps program engages National Direct and VISTA members in service to mobilize local communities around critical issues and challenges. HandsOn Corps AmeriCorps members identify, train, and manage volunteer leaders who will then develop and manage high quality, impact-driven projects, engaging others and further enabling the work of grassroots nonprofit organizations. The HandsOn Corps model provides vital infrastructure and brings more skilled leaders into service focusing around 3 critical national issues: Education, Economy, and Environment.

About Your Local Affiliate



Tips for Getting Press

  • Use the national story
  • Tweet about it! (Be sure to tweet about your event using the #1000TWOL hashtag to have your event recognized)
  • Be creative and original!
  • Invite local VIP
  • Profile a member
  • Highlight Recruitment – use your bookmarks, stickers, and brochures to pique the interest of 2,000 potential AmeriCorps Members!

Project that Gets Things Done…

By getting media!

  • Service to the Corps
  • HandsOn Corps celebrates AmeriCorps Week
  • Serve America act and what the means nationally and locally.
  • Prepared members to spread the word about AmeriCorps
  • Celebrate AmeriCorps Week
  • Information on specific local service projects
  • Fast Facts about AmeriCorps

Where to Get More Resources


Going Viral

How are you using Social Media to promote your AmeriCorps Week Events?

Visit our HandsOn Corps pages to update your event information


Finding/Registering Projects


AmeriCorps Week Contest

  • Consider submitting visual stories in the form of Photos and Videos from AmeriCorps Week activities to the HandsOn Corps AmeriCorps Week Contest (send submissions to
  • Sites who successfully tell others about AmeriCorps by distributing all of their collateral (stickers, bookmarks, brochures, etc.) will be entered into contest
  • Make sure we reach our goal - We are looking for 1000 Tweets of Light! #1000TWOL
  • Contest opens May 8th and runs until May 18th
  • Contest winner will receive a scholarship to the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service in New York City June 28th – June 30th

Helpful Websites

  • Facebook – Fan Us
  • Twitter – Follow Us
  • YouTube
  • National Service Resource Center
  • AmeriCorps Week 2010 Website
  • AmeriCorps Photo and Video Contest
  • AmeriCorps Homepage
  • United We Serve
    • HandsOn Network

Thank you

This presentation was modified. The original version can be found at and is made possible by the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps alums and AmeriCorps