The news media – TV, radio, newspapers and internet – can help bring attention to your campaign, issue, project or event. Sending journalists and bloggers a media release will help them report on and follow the story. If you talk to the media, it’s best to be well prepared.
Knowing how to write a media release is a valuable skill. Here are some tips for creating a good one:
Once you’ve written the media release, phone or email the media organisation beforehand to find out who it should be sent to (the best contact). After you send them the media release, phone them back to let them know you’ve sent the media release and check they’ve received it.
Media organisations get lots of releases, so you need to stand out. To make sure you get noticed, check more tips on writing a media release at Youth Central.
If they are interested in your story, journalists or media representatives may contact you to ask you questions.
Be prepared for this. They might ask you to provide a written response, a quote, or ask you to take part in an interview. If you’re asked an unexpected question, tell them you will call back with a comment shortly and develop a clear idea of what your message will be.
Remember you don’t have to answer the media’s questions – you can say ‘no thanks’ to an interview. This is probably the best option if you don’t feel properly prepared – and you need to be careful the media isn’t trying to present your story in a negative or incorrect way.
Anyone taking part in an interview should know and understand the key messages, aims and objectives of the group or campaign they represent. Choose a spokesperson (or spokespeople) who is confident and happy to be interviewed. This way, mistakes are less likely and your issue is less likely to be misrepresented.
If you are going to speak with the media, find out as much as you can about the story they are aiming to run. What information is the journalist basing their story on?
Before you agree to an interview, ask:
When speaking with the media, remember that:
And most importantly, always prepare as well as you can!
Big national news networks aren’t the only people who can promote your news. It’s often best to start locally, by contacting:
If you want to get your message to a youth audience, contact SYN Radio’s Panorama, a news and current events program for and by young people in Melbourne.
Making a short video can be a great way to engage people with your story. You can use videos as part of a social media campaign and also send them to TV or online news services.
They can communicate complex ideas or messages quickly and neatly. You can make a video with most cameras, smartphones or webcams – the quality doesn’t have to be ‘movie standard’, people are interested in real-life stories and natural conversations.
Here are some tips:
You don’t have to rely on existing news services or media organisations. Why not start your own blog or website to share your news and stories of your project or campaign?
Remember that there are lots of independent media organisations out there to learn from (or speak to) – some examples are Crikey and Indymedia.
What you can do now:
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