MANAGING THE

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MANAGING THE Powered By Docstoc
					WORKING WITH THE
     MEDIA


  A Guide for Schools




    Family Services
     Learning For Life




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WORKING WITH THE MEDIA - A GUIDE FOR
SCHOOLS
Schools are an important part of local communities, and you
should think about the benefits of raising your profile by
promoting things you’re proud of.

Schools are a great source of news and pictures for media and it
is likely that you have already used them or may want to use
them in future to help publicise something your school is doing.

There are no hard and fast rules to dealing with the media
successfully but we hope this leaflet will provide some simple
guidelines which can help make your relationship a happy one.




The role of the Press Office
Wakefield Council’s Corporate Press Office is based in Room 3
of the Town Hall, Wakefield.

There are three Press and Public Relations Officers who are
responsible for issuing all corporate press releases and deal with
an average of 40 enquiries a week from press, TV and radio. The
team also advise on the media and public relations, providing
media training and organising publicity for a whole range of
Council projects and initiatives. Other responsibilities include
publication of The Citizen newspaper - which goes out to the
District’s 138,000 households three times a year - and the staff
newsletter, Insight.

Please remember we are always happy to help and advise if you
have queries or problems regarding media and publicity.




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Working with the media - practical guidelines



What to do if you want to use the media

To publicise your school’s day to day events - such as
fundraising activities, picture opportunities, galas and productions
- we advise that you contact local media directly to arrange
coverage.

If writing a press release to issue to the media, choose the most
interesting angle for the introduction and ensure you include
information which answers the five W’s - who? what? why?
where? when?

Other simple guidelines are:

 Supply any information well in advance of any event - a week
  is usually sufficient notice to get your events onto news
  diaries.

 Choose a convenient time for photocalls - late morning/early
  afternoon is generally best, avoid evenings and weekends
  where possible.

 Use simple language, without jargon and in a way which is
  not likely to be misinterpreted.

 Keep information short, sharp and to the point - and put the
  most important points at the front.

 A press release opens doors to coverage. Be prepared to
  give interviews to get your message across.

 Be prepared to be quoted - people make news, not
  organisations.

 And remember, the Press Office will always give advice and
  support.




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What to do if reporters come to you

You may be approached by a reporter unexpectedly, in which
case you should remember a few simple rules:

 Think before you speak - what you say is likely to be written
  down and quoted and could be tape recorded.

 Where possible, ask what information reporters are seeking
  and arrange to rink back when you have thought about what
  you would like to say. If appropriate, contact the Press Office
  or colleagues in Education and Cultural Services for advice.

 Use a pre-prepared statement where possible.

 If giving an interview, stick to a script and beware of leading
  questions.

 Be polite and helpful and provide information which is
  interesting and relevant.

 Be co-operative. The media does operate to genuinely tight
  deadlines and if you don’t supply a response it may appear as
  a “no comment” - which can look awful in print.

 Remember that news comes from many sources - not all of
  them accurate. It’s wise to check any information you are
  asked to comment on.

 Correct any factual inaccuracies immediately to prevent
  wrong information being picked up from one story and being
  used again in another.

Most of your dealings with the media will be straightforward.
However, there are some instances when you should use the
expertise of the Press Office:

   to publicise the findings of Ofsted reports
   when you have to deal with a controversial issue
   when there is an emergency situation on school premises
    (such as a fire or serious incident)




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Ofsted Reports

The Press Office can produce press releases for you following
the publication of school Ofsted reports. To enable us to do this,
you should provide us with a copy of your Ofsted summary
report, together with quotes from the Headteacher and Chair of
Governors, highlighting any special features.       Once we’ve
prepared a draft we will check this with you before issuing it to
the media. Remember we need the full names of the head and
Chair of Governors.




Controversial issues - forewarned is forearmed!

You could have a difficult issue to deal with in school which you
feel may attract the attention for the media. This could be
anything from an accident which has happened on school
property to a disgruntled parent whose child has been excluded.

The media will not always pick up these stories, but if there is
anything you are worried about, it is always best to be prepared.
It is a good idea to have a statement ready in advance, just in
case the media request a comment.

We can help you to prepare a statement to issue directly on
request or if appropriate we can deal with media enquiries and
issue statements on your behalf. To enable us to do this, we
need to have as much background information as possible, along
with details of any steps you are taking to remedy the problem. If
you have any concerns, please contact us and we will be happy
to advise you.




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Emergencies

In any emergency the school’s first responsibility is the welfare of
pupils, staff and parents who should be kept informed of
developments.

However, you should always inform the Press Office of what is
happening at the earliest opportunity, either directly or via
Education and Cultural Services or Emergency Planning, so we
can deal with the media on your behalf.

We will prepare press statements which can be issued to the
media on request and which can be updated as the situation
develops.

If necessary, a Press Officer can come to the school to deal with
any reporters and photographers on site.

Remember that reporters may ask for an interview with the
Headteacher or another senior member of staff depending on the
circumstances of the incident - we can guide the process for you.

It is also worth remembering that the media - particularly local
radio - can be very useful for issuing information quickly and
widely, and can be used to update parents and carers about
what is happening - for example if the school has to close and
children need to be taken home early.




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CONTACT US

Press and Communications, Room 3, Town Hall, Wakefield. WF1
2HQ.
Telephone: 01924 305295
Fax: 01924 305144
E-mail: pressoffice@wakefield.gov.uk



CONTACT THE MEDIA


Wakefield Express                           Tel: 01924 375111
                                            Fax: 01924 433040
                                            Deadline:Thurs noon

Pontefract and Castleford Express           Tel: 01977 737200
                                            Fax: 01977 727201
                                            Deadline: Tues noon

Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express Tel: 01977 642214
                                    Fax: 01924 642004
                                    Deadline: Wedy noon

Yorkshire Evening Post                      Tel: 01924 375820
                                            Fax: 01924 384212
                                            Deadline 9am daily

Ridings FM                                  Tel: 01924 298577
                                            Fax: 01924 367133
                                            Hourly news

BBC Radio Leeds                             Tel: 0113 224 7300
                                            Fax: 0113 242 0652
                                            Hourly news


     For any other contacts please call the Press Office




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