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GETTING THE WORD OUT A short guide to publicizing youth related events.

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Presentation on theme: "GETTING THE WORD OUT A short guide to publicizing youth related events."— Presentation transcript:

1 GETTING THE WORD OUT A short guide to publicizing youth related events

2 Prepared by The Seven Stewards Group of the 2006 Leadership Southeast Vermont Project

3 in collaboration with Help Empower Youth! Youth Initiative of Windham County

4 Why do I need this? OK, so you and your group or organization is doing GREAT stuff for young people in your area -- but do others know about it? The more others know about the great stuff you do, the more they are going to value it and support you in doing it.

5 Hows this going to help? Were going to give you some proven tips for getting the word out through papers, radio and TV stations. Weve also done some leg-work for you and have names and phone numbers of people you can contact to get the word out.

6 Whats publicity look like? Theres several basic types -- each tells your story in a different way: –Calendar of events listings –Press releases –Feature articles –Radio & TV announcements –Radio and TV feature shows –Website publishing Well cover each of these separately.

7 Calendar of Events Listing The easiest to do!

8 Calendar of Events Listing Almost every local paper has a Calendar of Events column. Some run this daily, other papers run it every few days. It informs the public that something is happening, but doesn't provide detailed information.

9 Calendar of Events Listing A listing is short and to the point: –day and date of the event –what the event is –where it is –cost (if any)

10 Who do I send it to? See our resource list for names, addresses, etc. for sending your release in. Most papers want events calendar information at least a week before the event.

11 PRESS RELEASES Short and to the point

12 Press Releases A press release announces an event or something that is real news. It lets the public know brief details so they can come to the event, or it announces something special about your group or organization that you are proud of.

13 Press Releases A press release needs to: –get the point across quickly -- no more than words; –have enough details, but not too many (more about this in a minute); –be about something more interesting than the same old thing everybody else is doing.

14 Writing a Press Release A press release should be like a pyramid: the point some details maybe a quote or two something about the group

15 Writing a Press Release The first paragraph should tell the reader all they need to know –the event, the date, the time and place, and the purpose; –the honor or award youre bragging about and who it is from.

16 Writing as Press Release The second paragraph can fill in a few details: –what the event is about, or what it hopes to accomplish; –why this award or honor is unique and what it is about.

17 Writing a Press Release The third paragraph can be a quote from someone involved -- but dont do this if it sounds lame –the quote gives a personal opinion to generate excitement, and fills in a few details along the way; –quotes almost always begin with I am very……

18 Writing a Press Release The fourth paragraph can fill in more details about your group or organization –this should not be information critical to getting your word out; –it fills in what youre about; –if an editor needs to cut your press release, this is the stuff they will cut.

19 Add a picture! Take a great, dynamic looking, picture to send in with your release: –readers scan pictures first, and a great picture will get them to read your news; –digital photos in jpg or tiff formats are easiest for papers to run, but if all you have is a print, try sending it in anyway -- sometimes a paper will scan it in.

20 How do I put this together? –Gather your information –Read several newspapers to see how other people do it –Imitate them! It really is that simple.

21 Who do I send it to? See our resource list for names, addresses, etc. for sending your release in. You can send a press release to many papers. They will treat it like any news item and not mind that other papers are running it too.

22 LEGAL STUFF Important for you to know!

23 Legal Stuff Theres no good place to put this, so well cover it here just to warn you -- if you are talking about someone, you may need to have their permission first. If that person is under 18 you may need their parents permission. This is even more important if you are running a picture of someone! Yeah, it can be a pain, but you still need to do it. And yes, get it in writing.

24 FEATURE ARTICLES Longer human interest articles that are unique

25 Feature Articles A feature article needs to: –be about something truly unique, and show something about how people in your group interact with the community; –focus on personal actions, or how people have changed because of what you do; –not trash anybody else in the community (newspapers need to please ALL their readers!).

26 Writing a Feature Article Most papers run feature articles -- they are the human interest articles on the inner pages, usually at the top of a page. Read several of these before you try writing one to get a feel for what they contain.

27 Writing Feature Articles Get your idea together –make sure it is unique to your group or organization; –think about how you would tell the story to someone; –make sure you focus on what people did and how people were changed.

28 Writing Feature Articles Write a first draft –the first sentence should grab peoples attention; –it should be about a person, not an event, –it should talk about emotions as well as facts; –aim for words.

29 Writing Feature Articles Have someone not involved with your group read your draft –be open to their feedback, even if they find it not too good; –listen to what they think would make it more interesting; –remember -- this is not about news, it is about people.

30 Writing Feature Articles When you think youve got it done, call the paper and ask if you can send it to the features editor for their review. Many papers will be happy to give you hints on how to make it better.

31 Add a Picture! Yes, pictures help here too. The best ones show individuals interacting with each other.

32 Who do I send it to? See our resource list for names, addresses, etc. for sending your release in. Papers want their readers to think that a feature article is unique to that paper. So send your feature to only one paper. If they dont run it, then trying sending to to a different paper.

33 Legal Stuff (again) Yes -- you may need to have permission to write about people, and may need permission from the parents of anyone under 18. Yes -- it is best to get permission in writing from parents.

34 RADIO ANNOUNCEMENTS Real short and to the point

35 Radio Announcements Radio announcements should be: –only 30 to 60 seconds long; –filled with only necessary information.

36 Radio Announcements Most stations want you to send them copy for their announcer to read. Some stations will let you record your own announcement -- call and check with them.

37 Writing Radio Announcements Keep information to the minimum: –name of organization or group –name or kind of event –place –day and date –time

38 Who do I send it to? See our resource list! You can send radio announcements to several stations. They will treat it like any news item and not mind that others are broadcasting it too.

39 TV ANNOUNCEMENTS Those banners scrolling across the screen

40 TV Announcements Public Access TV stations are pleased to run announcements –some have programs dedicated to showing events that are happening in the area; –others scroll information across the bottom of some video footage of local scenes.

41 TV Announcements You can get more information into a TV announcements than a radio announcement. BUT -- you may not be getting to the audience you want to get to.

42 Writing TV Announcements Write these just as you would write a radio announcement –name of organization or group; –name or kind of event; –place; –day and date; –time.

43 Who do I send it to? See our resource list! You can send TV announcements to several stations if they cover your area, since the announcement is news.


45 Radio and TV Feature Shows Commercial radio stations, and public access TV stations, usually do talk shows. These are 15 or 30 minutes long, and involve one or several people talking with someone from the station.

46 Radio and TV Feature Shows These shows are usually in a question and answer format. Talk shows usually have an interviewer who asks the participants to talk about whats going on, how they like it, what they see the problems might be, and so on.

47 Radio and TV Feature Shows The interviewer is frequently someone from the station -- almost always on radio shows. Public Access TV can provide interviewers from the station, but will be open to letting you make your own show. Youd provide the interviewer and the participants.

48 Radio and TV Feature Shows Several participants are better than just one. More people provide greater variety, and can jump in if one person freezes up. Three or four people are best -- more than that and it gets too confusing.

49 Radio and TV Feature Shows These shows can be GREAT if the participants are comfortable talking to people: –interviewers will go over in advance basic questions they plan to ask; –but the participants need to be able to think on their feet since the interviewer may decide mid-way to ask a different question.

50 Radio and TV Feature Shows And lets be honest -- these shows can be DEADLY if the participants sit there saying ummmm………

51 Radio and TV Feature Shows The great things about these sorts of shows is that public access TV may wind up playing them over and over again to fill air time. Your message gets to different groups of people at different times of day.

52 CREATING YOUR OWN TV SHOW Fun and empowering!

53 Creating Your Own Show Public Access TV stations will usually be happy to train you to: –operate TV cameras; –operate the editing board (picks which camera shot goes on tape); –handle your own sound; –edit your show and add in titles, music, and so on.

54 Creating Your Own Show Call your local public access TV station and ask if you can visit. (See our resource list.) This can be a great way to get your word out and to learn new skills that you can use later.

55 WEBSITE PUBLISHING You have more control over what gets published and when it appears.

56 Website Publishing There are two easy ways to get your word out over the internet: –using an organizations website –using a public access website

57 Website Publishing on an Organizations Site If the organization you work with has a website, talk with the tech person to find out how you can post announcements or articles on the site.

58 Website Publishing on an Organizations Site Write your news item or article as if you were sending it into a paper and then simply post it on the organizations website. There is no editor involved, other than you.

59 Website Publishing on an Organizations Site Having no editor can be good: –your story doesnt get trimmed down –you control when the news goes out Having no editor has its drawbacks too: –no one other than you is checking your spelling, grammar or punctuation.

60 Website Publishing on an Organizations Site All the legal concerns about publishing in a newspaper would still apply: –you may need permission from the people you mention or quote in the article –you may need permission from anyone whose photo you include

61 Website Publishing on an Organizations Site The BIG drawback to publishing on your organizations site is this: you reach a limited audience. Your news only gets out to people who check the site and then check for news.

62 Website Publishing on a Public Access Site To reach a much wider audience, look into using local public access websites. These sites let any individual post information or an opinion. Your news gets out to anyone browsing the site for news or information.

63 Website Publishing on a Public Access Site To publish on a site you usually need to register. Different sites have different rules, but most let you use an alias. However, most do require a way to get in touch with you if they have questions.

64 Website Publishing on a Public Access Site Public access sites usually have some basic rules about what you can talk about, or how you can say it.

65 Website Publishing on a Public Access Site If you stay within their rules you can say pretty much whatever you want to. A site volunteer usually reads what you submit to make sure it follows their guidelines.

66 Website Publishing on a Public Access Site Here are the URLs for 3 local public access sites:

67 BE MEDIA SAVVY Watch, Read, and Listen

68 Be Media Savvy The best way to learn how to get your word out is to become aware of how others do it.

69 Be Media Savvy Read local papers -- see what they run, how they word it, what length they limit things too. Learn what a press release looks like, and what a feature article sounds like when you read it.

70 Be Media Savvy Listen to the public service announcements on your favorite radio station: –pay attention to what they include; –learn what makes you tune out.

71 Be Media Savvy Watch public access TV –OK, maybe you find some things on public access TV not interesting; –How would you improve that show? –How could your own show be dynamic and something people would want to watch? –Go for it!

72 BUILD CONNECTIONS Get to know…. Get yourself known

73 Build Connections Drop by the offices of the places you want to use for publicity –get to know the editors and managers; –practice your pitch first; –ask what you can do to get your word out effectively; –almost all of them will want to work WITH you to make this happen.

74 GETTING THE WORD OUT Your news, in your voice, counts!

75 Resources There are many helpful websites, and a web search will yield many possibilities. Some we looked at in preparing this were: – – – – –

76 Sources We are indebted to the following for sharing so willingly of their expertise about broadcast media: Peter Case, WKVT Suzanne Groenewold and Ray Lemire, WCFR Bruce Johnson, SAPA TV Mary Morin, WNNEFrederic Noyes, BCTV TV Dan Taylor andAnson Tebbetts, WCAX TV Tim Johnson, WTSA Noel Webster, FACT TV

77 Sources We are equally indebted to the following for sharing their expertise about print media: Rod Arnold, Springfield Reporter Dan Bustard, Eagle Times Bob Smith & Rebecca Epler, Message for the Week Sabina Haskell, Brattleboro Reformer Roger Riccio, Greater Falls Chamber of Commerce Johanna Sorrentino, Rutland Herald

78 The Seven Stewards Members of Leadership Southeasts 2006 class, who called themselves The Seven Stewards, are: Michele Coursen, Black River Produce Ronda Duflacas, Vermont Entergy Victor Horvath, Health Care & Rehabilitation Services Heather Lanoue, The Gathering Place Sean Long, Chittenden Bank Sherry Providence, Retreat Healthcare Anita Woodcock, Brattleboro Savings & Loan

79 Why The Seven Stewards? Robert Greenleaf ( ) was an American essayist whose first career was in management research and development. He suggested that community leaders need to see themselves first as servants or stewards of their communities -- as individuals who focus first on the welfare of those they serve.

80 Why The Seven Stewards? Greenleaf wrote that as stewards of their communities, leaders need to ask three questions about their actions: –Do those served (the members of the community) grow as persons? –Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, and more likely themselves to become stewards? –What is the effect on the least privileged in society; will they benefit or at least not be deprived?

81 Why The Seven Stewards? The members of The Seven Stewards group caught fire with this concept, and have been proud to make their own attempts to live it out, in part through the preparation of this press kit. We encourage you to do the same! More about Robert Greenleaf and his work can be found at www.

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