Quick and Easy Tips for Working with the Media
What do you need?
- A media advisory--A one-page fact sheet inviting reporters to
cover an event. It contains the traditional who, what, when, where, why
information of a press release and lists a contact name and phone number for
the purpose of scheduling interviews, either on-site at the event or before the
- Press release (see sample release in your Hearts N' Parks media
- Background information on the Hearts N' Parks Y2K Program
- Fact sheets on physical activity and heart healthy eating from
- Local spokespersons (2)
- An event coordinator or sponsor who can discuss the Hearts
N' Parks Y2K Program, the event that you're promoting, and the schedule of
- A community member or event participant who can provide a
personal perspective on why they have come to the event, what they hope to
Be sure to provide all spokespersons with a few key talking points
about the Hearts N' Parks Y2K Program and make sure that they understand they
may be called upon to do media interviews.
What do you do first?
4 weeks prior to the event:
community calendar opportunities.
Find out if any of the newspapers on
your list print weekly community calendars and confirm with them the deadline
for submissions. Be sure to get your advisory to them in time to make their
2-3 weeks prior to the event:
your media list.
Include all local network and cable TV and radio
stations, newspapers and magazines. List reporters who cover: health and
medicine, features, city/community news, as well as assignment desk
Ten days prior to the event:
advisory to your media list.
If you have fax numbers, that is a good
way to reach reporters quickly. Begin calling the key papers and stations to
make sure they received the advisory and to encourage them to cover the
NOTE: Don't be shy. Keep calling. Try to speak directly
to a reporter. Be prepared to re-send to them several times if need be so that
the materials end up in the right person's hands.
If the reporter says yes. Work with him or her to arrange
an interview with your spokesperson. Ask if there's anything special they need
from you to complete their story--for example, a camera crew may need access to
an electrical source or to a ³mult box² that will provide them with
sound directly from any microphones you might be using for an awards ceremony,
for instance, or if a local celebrity is scheduled to speak.
If the reporter says maybe, then put him/her on your call
back list and call again in the final days before the event to encourage
him/her to attend.
If the reporter says no, ask if he/she can suggest
someone else on the staff who might be interested.
A day or two prior to the event:
the advisory to your entire list.
Keep calling your media
Keep a running sheet of your expected media
attendance with notes on when they will be there; who they are sending,
At the event:
Greet media when they
Make sure to introduce media to your spokespersons for
Give every media person who attends a press kit
to take back to their office. It will help them round out the story.
After the event: Send press kits to reporters
who expressed interest but did not attend, because it may still result in
coverage, or they may come to your next event.
Start checking the newspapers and watching TV to see your
Send a thank you note to the reporters who attended. Tell
them that you enjoyed working with them and that you hope to continue to serve
as a resource for their reporting.
Send a letter to the editor of your daily newspaper to
publicly thank your volunteers for making the event a success and ask the
editor to consider it for publication.
Congratulations on a job well done. Now on to the next
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