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 Tips on Working with the Media

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Ashley Khor
President


Posts : 92
Join date : 2009-10-07
Age : 34
Location : Sydney University

PostSubject: Tips on Working with the Media   Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:55 am

Every year, SIFE teams make headlines in thousands of local, regional and national media outlets. Working with your local media is an excellent way to receive recognition and increase support for
your team’s activities on campus and in the community. Here are some tips for publicizing your efforts to the mass media:

Study your local media market. Identify what specific stations, papers, etc. serve your local community. Pay particular attention to the reporters most likely to cover stories about your team’s activity.
• It is important to use an up-to-date contact list. Take the time to contact your local media outlets, introduce your team and collect their contact information. For each outlet, make sure
you collect the contact information for any specific reporters you identified in the previous step as well as the assignment manager. Use the contact sheet provided in the Team Resource section of the SIFE website.
• As in any other industry, working with the media has a lot to do with relationships. Personally introduce yourself to local reporters and contact them throughout the year with story ideas.
• Whenever applicable, use the custom press release templates provided by SIFE.
• Solicit advice and assistance with your media efforts from your college or university’s public relations office.
• Before sending a press release to your local media, contact the assignment manager at each outlet to determine how they prefer to receive the information, e.g., mail, fax, email, etc.
• Your first press release for a project should be sent approximately two weeks in advance of the actual event.
• Send a brief media alert approximately two days before the date of the project or event. This should simply be a brief reminder with a few key sentences summarizing the activity.
• Make a final phone call to the assignment manager early on the day of the project or event.
• Most newspapers and radio stations have calendar information sections. Send a brief paragraph about an upcoming event to be included in these sections.
• Check with the specific media outlet to determine the leadtime required. It might need to be several weeks in advance.
• Most network television affiliates produce a local daily morning news show. These programs usually contain a significant block of time reserved for community guests. Try to arrange
for a representative to fill one of these guest spots. Identify and contact the producers of these shows to schedule an appearance.

Presenting Your Stories to the Media
The elements that make your team’s projects so successful are the same as the elements that make them so interesting to the media:
• Develop media pitches focused on the people helped by your team’s efforts.
• Describe the problem and express your SIFE team as the solution.
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