15 seconds. Name Chapter The most exciting thing you have ever done. Like, ever.
Press releases are strategic. Audience. Audience. And audience again. Revolutionary not evolutionary. Written as if it was the story. Shows a way to get engaged.
Turn to the person on your other side. Statement 1: The EWB national conference is being held in St. John’s from January 6 – 9 th, 2010. There will be 400 delegates there discussing international development and how to move EWB forward in the next year. The conference is attended by several members of the international development and corporate world from across Canada. Statement 2: How can 4,000 high school students in Newfoundland take action to change the world in just 2 hours? The EWB 2010 National Conference delegates answered this question on Friday, when 300 people travelled all across St. John’s to engage students in the St. John’s area about taking action against poverty and injustice as global citizens. The conference is an important opportunity to showcase global issues in Newfoundland, and the actions that can be taken. This is the biggest international development conference ever to be held in St. John’s.
To remember. Structure: – 200 – 300 words – Contact information – “For immediate release” – Title (that says why it is exciting) – Location – Quotes
Have you ever… Emailed a journalist? Called them?
Journalists are busy people. Always on a deadline. Usually 15 seconds to engage, 30 seconds to pitch. (That’s only 45 seconds.) Don’t be scared. Usually email first, then follow up with a call. Practice your pitch, but don’t read it. Relationship building + transition.
THE pitch. It should include: Why is this story different Why does it fit with their audience Personal, references their work Timeline + next steps Gets to the point
Everyone needs prep. This means you. Before the interview: Have a sense of the reporter’s agenda Know the audience Develop potential questions, or ask the reporter to provide questions Identify your key messages Develop your answers and practice Timing yourself for each question What is the structure of the show
S-u-c-c-e-s-s means. A successful interview: Gets people excited Answers “so what” Communicates key messages Provides the necessary information Uses plain language.
The MOM test. ( Would your Mom understand? If yes, then good job. If no, then try it again.)
Let’s act. You are the EWB Communications Rep for the National Conference 2010. You are responsible for getting media attention for the MOE that is happening to engage 4,000 high school students in the St. John’s area with global issues and actions. Katie Lundy works for a local TV company, Rogers Cable. She has been working with the station for 23 years, and it seems that she knows St. John’s really well. She is based in the city, and usually covers local interest pieces that are happening around the area. Her viewers are mostly locals interested in things happening in their community. This is a vibrant community, so Katie has no shortage of choice of stories and is usually really busy. Today more so than normal, as she only has 1 hour to review her email and pull together the final storyboard for her show. Over the phone, make a pitch to Ms. Lundy to cover the MOE happening at conference.
Pop quiz. Did you… Ask if she was on a deadline? Identify if this was a good time to talk? Put the most important information first? Tell her why it fits with her audience? Explain why this is important? Make a reference to her work? Suggested next steps?