HOW TO BE A MEDIA SLUT
Spring 2003/The Harvey Milk Institute
Instructor: Gretchen Lee
WORKSHEET: Get Organized! Develop a PR Plan
Step 1: State your goals
Overall (increase # of tickets sold, create a buzz to boost fundraising, etc.)
Long term, over the next year (i.e., send out one press release each quarter; get
feature articles in 2 of 10 top-tier target publications)
Short term, in the next three months or so (i.e., finalize a press kit, get calendar
listings in 5 of 10 target publications)
Step 2: Identify your audience
Make a list of the types of people interested in your work — this is your target
Make a list of the newspapers, magazines, web sites, television and radio
programs where your target audience tunes in — these are your target
Step 3: Make a list of your target media
Target list should include accessible publications and media that reach your target
audience (Use the Bacon’s directories, if necessary, and make sure you’ve
familiarized yourself with the publication by reading it before you pitch them.)
Create a spreadsheet or otherwise list these contacts in a format that leaves room
for you to make notes as you have various contacts with editors and writers.
Identify approximately 1/3 as your top-tier publications and media outlets: These
will be the publications where you focus more than half of your attention.
Step 4: Identify Your Opportunities
Make a list of the opportunities during the coming year when you most want media
attention, i.e., gallery openings, film screenings, fundraising events, etc.
Step 5: Pick Your Tools
Identify which PR communications tools (i.e., calendar listing, media alert, press release,
press kit) is best suited to each of your opportunities listed in Step 4.
Step 6: Match ‘em Up
Match each item on your opportunities list to the publications in your target list. Think of
which media outlet would be interested in receiving news of each of these events.
Step 7: Mark Your Calendar
Working backwards, identify tasks associated with generating publicity for each of your
For example, you may want calendar listings in advance of your show or
fundraiser. Consider the target publication’s lead time and make a note in your
plan as to when you need to send out calendar listings.
Likewise, if you’re hoping to trigger a feature story in a national magazine in
conjunction with your film’s release, make a note of when you need to send
screener tapes to the publication and when you might want to follow up w/ a
phone call or email.
Create a “tickle file” calendar for yourself that identifies specific tasks for
particular dates. (For example: Nov. 5: Finalize November 10 press release; Or:
November16: Make follow-up phone calls to unconfirmed media guests at gala
Step 9: Work It, Girl!
Set to work sending out press materials, schmoozing and following up with editors,
arranging media events, etc.
Step 10: Do It All Over Again
At regular intervals, re-examine your plan. Have you met your goals? If you haven’t been
meeting your goals, ask yourself why. Are your goals too hard? Have you been following
your plan? If not, why not? If you have met your goals, it’s time to set new ones, building
on the relationships you’ve already developed and reaching for new opportunities as they