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Council Members as Public Figures The Fine Art of Media Relations Presentation by George Affleck and Jeremy Dunn Curve Communications Group.

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Presentation on theme: "Council Members as Public Figures The Fine Art of Media Relations Presentation by George Affleck and Jeremy Dunn Curve Communications Group."— Presentation transcript:

1 Council Members as Public Figures The Fine Art of Media Relations Presentation by George Affleck and Jeremy Dunn Curve Communications Group

2 About Us Founded in 2000 with the objective of creating an agency that would stand apart. A philosophy of superior service, innovative collaboration and unique industry insight. Curve has developed a reputation for tactical thinking, creative integrity and professional service. Curve has grown to include writers, media buyers, event planners, designers, media relations specialists and business strategists. Our past experience as media professionals has given us unique insight into building contacts and expressing a client’s message to the right audience.

3 Media Relations Media relations involve working directly with persons responsible for the editorial (news and features), public service and sponsored programming products of mass media. Your messages need to be accurate, professionally delivered, believed and understood. Effective media relations maximizes coverage and placement of stories and messages in the mass media without paying for it directly through advertising. Advertising is meant to convince consumers of something; PR is meant to convince the media of something.

4 Why do you want media coverage? What is newsworthy? Creating a news angle -- the hook. How do you reach the media? Who should you call -- which media? Be prepared for better or worse. Getting Started

5 Talking to the Media Make sure you have something to say that is better than what they would find in a press release. If you think it is newsworthy, make sure you can say why. Call the right person. Know when to call -- publication days / story meeting times / shift work.

6 When you call: –ID yourself. –Ask if they are on deadline. –Get to the point. –Keep it simple -- you have 30 seconds. –Use colourful / quotable language. –Offer exclusivity. –Don’t … –Tell the reporter how to cover the story. –Ask to see the story before it goes to print / air. –Insult them or their colleagues. Talking to the media cont...

7 Community Newspapers They are your bread and butter. Will give you more attention than any other media outlet. Readers closely identify with stories in paper. Biggest audience - BC’s Community Papers have an average readership exceeding 75%. Get to know everyone on the staff. Contact them regularly and visit in person.

8 More regional than community papers. Less likely to cover local politics unless it is a big story. Get to know specific beat reporters in your area of interest and expertise. Pitch one reporter at a time. Learn columnists’ work. Provide great photos. Make regular contact. Daily Newspapers

9 Radio Local, regional and national audience. Reach specific audience via specific stations or programs. Pitch news director or assignment editor. Pitch talk show producers. Be ready to be interviewed on the spot. Speak in sound bites. Be lively -- even in the pre-interview. Offer to drop by in person. Timing is crucial.

10 Reach a broad audience. Story must have a visual impact. Immediacy is key. Prepare your pitch - think good pictures and sound. Availability in person is key. Don’t do interviews in your office - find a compelling setting. Don’t assume the news team knows the subject. On camera -- look the interviewer in the eye not the camera. Show your feelings. Don’t wear bright whites. Timing is crucial -- anything scheduled after noon will be difficult for them to cover. Mondays and weekends offer more opportunities. TV

11 When to write a release. Be clear and effective. Some tips to make it work. Media Kits. How should it be distributed? The News Release

12 Letters to the Editor / Op-Ed pieces When to do it? How should it be written? For Print? Radio? And TV? What about a PSA?

13 The News Conference To do or not to do. Send out advisory 48 hours prior and again the morning of. Call all media you want there early the day of the event. Mornings are best-- but not too early. Choose a place that can fit the crews. Think of visuals and photos ops -- talking head needs more. Have full media kit available to hand out. Know your competition. Know deadlines.

14 Crisis -- what crisis? Designate spokesperson. Location. What to say and not to say. Honesty is the best policy.

15 Getting Good Media Relations Help reporters and editors without looking like you are too self-serving. Be honest. Find that unique angle for them. Be sensitive to deadlines. Call back media immediately. If you can’t do an interview, quickly offer up someone else. Have 24/7 contact information. Follow up.

16 Unfair or Inaccurate Coverage Determine exactly what is wrong and if it is worth pursuing. Prepare evidence. Call the reporter first. If you truly believe the story was inaccurate or misleading, ask for a correction or clarification. A letter to the editor might do the trick. If all else fails, contact management.


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