Many of you have said to me that your group often struggles to get your story heard in the local media. If successful, media coverage can of course promote the services the sector offers, help demonstrate our impact locally and raise awareness of the support we offer residents and communities.
Because this is a shared challenge across our sector I invited Mark Jones former editor of The Gazette along to our voluntary sector forum earlier this month.
Mark now works for the excellent charity Ark Cancer Centre charity but was a longstanding player on the local media scene.
I can’t do Mark’s useful presentation justice, but his advice on press releases included:
- Who – who is involved in the activity. Give full names, job titles, and where relevant/necessary other personal details i.e age.
- What – what is the activity/article about. Always write in plain English and, where possible, avoid jargon. It is key to remember what audience you are writing for. The people who read local newspapers are a different audience to a trade magazine.
- When – make sure any time/date information is included.
- Where – make sure that clear details of the location for the activity that is being promoted are given.
- Why – what’s it all about – why is something being done – i.e raising funds for a good cause, perhaps!
- Picture – where possible, take/supply your own photograph. Generally send in a jpeg that is 300dpi. Send a choice of upright and landscape shots and make sure you caption the picture.
There were other top tips from Mark available in his document.
BVA Chief Executive