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Media Training and Preparedness 4 th Annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV Awareness Day Presented by Tanya Hilleary Riverbyte Communications, LLC On 5/8/08 Objectives of this session Message Development: Keeping it Simple Explain the art of Media Relations
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If they require a paragraph or more,
Example: Our hope is our May 19 awareness events focus attention on the rising rates of HIV/AIDS in A&PI communities andreduce related discrimination and stigma.
When your organization appears in a news story, not only do you reach the publication’s audience directly, you also can point your prospects to the piece later, using reprints or Web links.
Media coverage means legitimacy.
Target one reporter at a time.Taking the time to read a publication and then crafting a unique pitch to a particular journalist can work wonders. Mention a specific article he/she wrote and then explain why your organization or event would be interesting for the journalist to look at. Make certain to target the subject line of the e-mail to help ensure that it gets opened.
Help the journalist to understand the big picture.Often it's difficult to understand how your organization’s efforts actually fit into a wider trend. You make a journalist's job much easier if you describe the big picture of why your group is interesting. Often this helps you get mentioned in the reporter’s future articles or columns about trends in your space.
Explain how individuals benefit from your program and work with your organization.Reporters hear hundreds of pitches from spokespeople about public awareness events and campaigns. But it’s much more useful to hear about a campaign in action from someone who actually benefits from it. If you can set up interviews with clients or provide written case studies of how you’ve increased awareness of HIV in the community, it will be much easier for journalists to write about your organization.
Don't send e-mail attachments unless asked.These days, it is a rare journalist indeed who opens an unexpected e-mail attachment, even from a recognized company. Yet many PR people still distribute news releases as e-mail attachments. Don't. Send plain text e-mails instead. If you're asked for other information, you can follow up with attachments, but be sure to clearly reference in the e-mail what you’re sending and why, so the journalist will remember asking for it.
Follow up promptly with potential contacts. A reporter says:“Recently I agreed to interview a senior executive at a large non-profit. An eager PR person set it up, and we agreed on date and time. But I never got the promised follow-up information via email, which was supposed to include the telephone number to reach the executive. Duh. Needless to say, the interview didn't happen.”
Make certain you follow up as promised.
Be aware of deadlines.Magazine deadlines can be as much as six months before the publication date, television six weeks, daily papers can be one to two weeks if it involves a calendar listing and weeklies may require two to four weeks advanced notice.
Consider the timing of your news.Can the story be held for the weekend? The media have more room on weekend broadcasts or in a weekend edition of the paper to include the story. Please note that Sundays are an excellent time to have stories placed - the Sunday, 10 p.m. news maintains one of the highest weekly ratings, and circulation is highest for daily newspapers on Sundays when more readers have the opportunity to examine the paper in greater detail.
Avoid sending releases on Mondays or Fridays.Because (a) reporters are human and they take long weekends too, and (b) many businesses distribute news releases on those days to either garner press coverage or in an attempt to bury it - yours could get lost in the shuffle.
Consider the news value of what you are pitching.Will a mass audience really care about what you are announcing? It may be best only for select media.
Determine your audience.Are you trying to reach just the local community that you serve? Do you want to reach the entire state to attract visitors to your community? If you are putting together a workshop, for example, do you need to let the entire community know about it?
“Another thing to remember is…”
“If you look closely, you’ll find…”
“That reminds me of…”
“That’s not my area of expertise, but I think your audience would be interested in knowing…”
“Let me answer you by saying…”
“Three things people should know about HIV in our community are…”
“The important point here is this…”
“The real issue here is…”
White House Press Conferences are full of these!
“What that means is…”
“I’m afraid that’s not my area of expertise, but I can put you in touch with someone who can speak to that issue…”
When in a crisis:
Please use the BTP Communications Toolkit as a resource for your media planning and implementation: http://www.banyantreeproject.org/resources.html
If you need technical assistance in planning and implementing your May 19th event or other HIV stigma related activities, please contact Dr. Sheoran at firstname.lastname@example.org or
415-292-3400 ext 365
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