G1H8PromotingYourPro gram

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Scott VanDeman Director of Communications Volunteer Florida

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Why is this session important? National AmeriCorps Week, March 2007 Celebration of 500,000th AmeriCorps Member! CNCS needs YOUR help with this nationwide campaign! The time to start is NOW!

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What to expect from this session: A series of basic strategies you can start using tomorrow An interactive exercise based upon those strategies Real-world success stories for inspiration Resources for additional information

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Strategy One: Be Prepared! Have a canned speech about your program and practice it! Speaking authoritatively about your program will inspire confidence Write good news releases and have artwork available. The media loves a “complete package” Commit yourself to getting media coverage, and have a plan VolunteerLEON News Conference, April 2005

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Strategy Two: Have ready-made Media Kits on hand. They can include: Program Fact Sheet Program Director’s Business Card Brochure Recent Press Clippings (if applicable) Newsletter (if applicable) Premium item (pen, keychain) if available Add your current news release, and you’re ready to go! Tip: Resist the urge to provide too much information; less is more!

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Strategy Three: Pay attention to your local media Learn who covers your subject matter at local media outlets and develop a relationship with these reporters: Place a telephone call Pay a friendly visit Do not ignore weekly newspapers! They are hungry for material of local interest!

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Strategy Four: Leverage current news events to gain coverage for your program

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Strategy Five: Engage local/national politicians in your events – news media will follow! This requires advance planning, with both public officials and the media Florida Congressman Adam Putnam and Volunteer Florida CEO Wendy Spencer at Polk Reads news conference!

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Strategy Six: Call and follow-up. Media coverage is hard to get! If a media outlet won’t cover your program, politely ask why your story doesn’t meet their needs! Remind them about the National AmeriCorps Week news peg!

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Exercise: Each group has been provided with an envelope. In your envelope is a scenario describing a media opportunity. Keeping in mind the strategies we discussed, analyze the unique opportunity this scenario presents, and put together a brief media plan describing how you would capitalize on it. Be prepared to report out briefly your results to the group. TIME: 10 minutes

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Several Things Your Should Never Do in the Name of PR: Lie or mislead Stonewall Procrastinate Be inaccessible Offer a bribe Turn up your nose Bore people Sacrifice long-term relationships for short-term results Behave unethically Source: “Public Relations Kit for Dummies” by Eric Yaverbaum

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Success Story One: Florida Volunteer Month 2005 Op-Ed

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Success Story Two: 6 Days 6 Ramps WCTV Eyewitness News Tallahassee Democrat, Page 1, Local & State

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Success Story Three: President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation Tallahassee Democrat, Page 1, Local & State Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Front Page! The Tallahassee Democrat Story was featured on the Sayfie Review, Florida’s top political Web portal to news!

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Success Story Four: Hurricane Preparedness Op-Ed 2006 Published in: The Tampa Tribune The South Florida Sun-Sentinel The Daytona Beach News-Journal The Sarasota Herald Tribune The Key West Citizen The Panama City News Herald The Pensacola News Journal The News Press of Fort Myers The Naples Daily News World Volunteer Web So far!

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Resources: Publications: “Public Relations Kit for Dummies,” by Eric Yaverbaum “Sharing Your National Service Story: A Guide to Working With the Media” (http://www.nationalservice.org/pdf/Media_Guide.pdf)

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Questions and Answers

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