4-H Media Relations “Show Impact for Positive Media Coverage of 4-H” Lorna Norwood, Patricia McDaniels, Chuck Denney
“Twins and Ponies” “Which twin are we going to be?”
Media Relations – Not! • Media Relations is NOT a “Run and Hide” ordeal. • Media Relations Training includes tips, such as “Never say NO COMMENT!” • Never say anything “Off the Record!”
Media Relations – No Spin Zone! A “Spin Doctor” puts a positive spin on a negative situation, but that’s not what Media Relations is about either!
So what is Media Relations? • Media Relations is a means to promote your organization • Telling people about the good things 4-H is doing • We reach the general public through the media
Why build relationships with reporters? • It’s an exchange of value with both sides gaining something they need. You want coverage of 4-H, and they want news from a trustworthy source • Good relationships = better communications with the public
What makes a good news story? • Little action, but lots of detail – Newspapers! • Great sound bites, great audio – Radio! • Visual, lots of action – TeeVee!
Breaking down the Media • Newspapers – Informing Media - (More details) • Radio – Alerting Media - (Immediacy) • Television – Emotional Media - (Just like being there in person)
Categories of News Stories • You’ll find two main types of news stories on TV or in your newspaper…. Crime Politics
News or What? 50% Off Sale – Not News! Your organization does something good – That’s News! We’re talking about FREE Media coverage!
Professional courtesies • First, learn how we define “news” • Be proactive – you approach the media with a story idea, rather than waiting form them to call • Learn the best time to contact media – papers, radio and TV differ here • Provide them with background info • Return calls/emails promptly
IMPACT! • The best stories for the media – and to showcase 4-H – are ones that show us having an IMPACT in our communities.
Examples of Impact stories • 4-H’ers at Congress collect CDs/DVDs for “Tunes 4 the Troops” • Lewis County 4-H’ers hold a “Creek Stomp” to get trash out of waterway • Maury County 4-H’ers collect games/toys as Christmas gifts for Katrina evacuees • Service learning projects work well here!
What did you know, and when did you know it? • Interview tips – Use plain language, no jargon • Have a central theme or message and stick to it • Be prepared and practice the interview • Keep in mind that you represent 4-H
To attract the media… • The story idea should demonstrate 4-H having an IMPACT! • Show 4-H’ers and Volunteers in a pro-active way • Make sure the story has a clear, concise message. • Make sure your story is relevant and timely. • Does you story have a unique or interesting angle? • Your story should appeal to a mass audience. • Use a written release to alert the media.
To attract the media… • For TV – is the story visually interesting? • Lots of technical details – might be best for papers. • Be aware of media deadlines and other events when scheduling. • Be careful with “exclusives.” Hit multiple media outlets. • Have people available for the media to interview. • Don’t “stage” too much.
To attract the media… • Use plain language and be friendly. • Don’t take it personally if the media can’t do your story at that exact time. • Give the media multiple information sources – web sites, pamphlets, etc. • Be persistent, but don’t be a bother in pitching stories. • Remember – 4-H may not be the whole story. • If you want to tell people about 4-H – think media!
4-H on Ole Rocky Top • Radio spots are available that have previously run on the Vol Network. • Effective way to promote 4-H – tie-in with the popularity of UT sports • Perhaps introduces 4-H to a new audience
UTIA Marketing & Communications • Lorna Norwood firstname.lastname@example.org (865-947-7368) • Patricia McDaniels email@example.com (865-974-7375) • Chuck Denney firstname.lastname@example.org (865-974-7367) Please send us your story ideas!