Here are some key tips, examples and snippets of advice as you engage with the media. This section will soon be expanded upon to provide you with even more guidance in engaging with the press and media.
Approaching the mainstream press and media
Be confident and polite, while being aware that the reporter may be rushing for a deadline. Get to know your local news reporters and thank them for their time.
Writing a Press Release
First thing to do is think of an angle to your story- something interesting that grabs attention. Decide who you are targeting. Start in the first paragraph with who, what, when, where, why. A good release won't leave any questions.
Remember to include dates and times and contact details. Provide some background and check that it is easy to read, without jargon and is proof-read. Speak objectively and not like an advert. Add quotes from a leader, organiser or person affected which describe feelings and comment rather than information.
Always remember to take photos and add them to the release if the paper has not sent a photographer. Keep it to 1 page long. Ring the paper beforehand to tell them you are emailing it.
Writing a Letter
We all know that usually letters pages are negative or complaining - let's be different. Keep it short (150 words), relevant, to one or two points and include your own personal stories or experience when appropriate. Maybe you could write about an inspiring transformation taking place, local people discovering something new, or praise another project or story you have seen recently in the paper.
Don't wait for somebody else to do it - go for it. Remember there are good news stories everywhere - create them, find them and tell them! Share your stories on Twitter and Facebook too.