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									Meet the Press…
More Effectively!
        Laura Johnston Monchuk
   National Community Action Foundation
              Media Advisor
 Why is improved
 media relations
important to you?
Today’s Training Objectives

   Practice perfecting the message

   Explore media relations tools

   Jump-start your media plans

   Demystify media relations
Quick Overview of
Elements of Media Success
   Messaging –          Packaging –
    being prepared        strategically
    with a positive       packaging
    messages for          messages for
    the media             greatest impact
   Managing –           Presenting –
    improve and           acquiring
    manage                interview skills
    relationships         and media
    with the press        savvy
Messaging Tips:

   Prepare in advance
   Five W’s
   3 core messages ~ 30 seconds
   Make sure its newsworthy
   Motivation sequence:
       Attention
       Need
       Satisfaction
       Support
       Action
Managing Tips:

   Golden Rule
   Make their jobs easier
   Maintain credibility
   Keep detailed database
   Update lists regularly
   Have a plan
   Do something daily
ENERGIZE your media
relations in 10 minutes
   Write goals and schedule time
   Call a reporter and introduce yourself
   Watch the weather forecast
   Read papers for angles and reporters to pitch
   Write a letter-to-the-editor
   Invite a reporter to lunch
   Fill in the blanks
   Thank a reporter
   Put together a short ad for a student volunteer
   Check out the Media Club website for ideas and tips
   Read and comment on a blog
   Call me!
The Communications Plan
   The key ingredient to successful

   Identify target audiences

   Pinpoint specific contacts

   Assign delivery vehicles

   Establish timeframe

   Evaluate
Packaging Tips:

   Write in style
       Associated Press (AP style)
       Chicago Manual of Style
       Individual papers
   Know your tools
   Choose and use wisely
Basic Media Relations Tools
   Media query
   Media advisory
   News releases
   Letters-to-the-editor
   Op-ed
   News conference
   New media
Media Query

   Sometimes it is best to pick up
    the phone or send an e-mail to
    tip off a reporter.

   A way to build relationships.
Media Advisories

   Simple way to let media know about
    an event they may want to attend.
   Send to the assignment editor, city
    editor or news editor.
   Five W’s
   Identify key dignitaries who will
   Outline the story angle and
   Keep it simple and to one page!
News Releases

   Inverted pyramid

   Keep it to one page

   Could be fashioned as a
    statement only

   NCAF sample releases
NCAF: Bush’s Proposed Energy Budget Elects
Energy Experimentation over Conservation
WASHINGTON (Feb. 5, 2007) – President Bush’s 2008 budget
proposes a 40 percent cut, a $98 million reduction, to the
Weatherization Assistance Program. National Community Action
Foundation Executive Director David Bradley said the administration’s
plan unwisely elects energy experimentation over conservation.
“The Administration is proposing that all new energy resources go into
research and development of new technologies for the future. We
certainly need new breakthroughs, yet it is not wise to invest only in
risky, long-range experiments and neglect more immediate and
proven home energy-saving upgrades. Reducing energy use is the
cheapest way for society to ease the demand for fuels,” Bradley said.
“Last year the weatherization program helped nearly 100,000 low-
income households permanently lower their energy use by 30
percent. By slashing program funding, an estimated 40,000 American
low-wage workers and retirees on fixed incomes who are on
weatherization waiting lists around the country will be kept waiting.”

NCAF is the Washington advocate for the Community Action Agencies
that provide weatherization services to low-income households.

NCAF Executive Director David Bradley is available for additional
comment this week.
David Bradley, executive director of the
National Community Action
Foundation, said Bush’s proposal
“unwisely elects energy experimentation
over conservation.”
“We certainly need new breakthroughs,
yet it is not wise to invest only in risky,
long-range experiments and neglect
more immediate and proven home
energy-saving upgrades,” he said.
NCAF Sample News Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: {Your name, phone, e-mail}
       Local Energy Conservation Program Caught in Washington Spending Fight
(YOUR COMMUNITY) Date – Before its Spring recess, the U.S. Senate directed the Energy Department to
restore funding for local weatherization efforts that the Administration cut from its 2007 spending plan just as
local crews were gearing up for the year.

The Bush Administration recently revised the Energy Department’s 2007 spending plan to cut the
Weatherization Assistance Program by $38 million, or 16 percent. This change of plans would translate into a
{how much—see state percentages} percent cut to the local weatherization program managed by {your
agency name}.

According to the agency’s {Your Title} {First and Last Name}, its skilled local weatherization crew weather
proofs and upgrades heating and cooling systems of about {how many} low-wage workers and retirees each
year. The Department of Energy estimates these investments reduce energy use by 20 to 30 percent for at
least two decades and lower home energy bills an average of $358 each year after the improvements are

After the Energy Department funding announcement, the Senate amended the Iraq war supplemental
emergency spending bill, instructing the Secretary of Energy to restore the program to nearly 2006 levels using
funds originally designated for this purpose. However, with the fate of the supplemental spending bill caught
between the White House and Congress, the {your agency} weatherization team is uncertain about how much
of its mission can be accomplished.

“Until a few weeks ago, we were anticipating full funding for the weatherization program year, which begins
{April 1 or July 1},” said {Last Name}. “Our weatherization crews are ready to go, and we are prepared to
weatherize {how many} homes this year. Now we’re unsure how the federal funding situation will affect us. If
these cuts are not reversed, there will be many disappointed families in {local community name} who are
currently on weatherization waiting lists.

“We hope Congress will reverse this cut before the year moves very far,” said {last name}. “We are grateful for
the commitment of Senator{s} {your Senators name, if shown as a co-signer or Sanders amendment co-
sponsor} and Representative{s} {your representative’s name, if shown as a co-signer} to the low-income
energy consumers in our state. We appreciate that they tried to prevent these cuts, and we are confident they
will do everything in their power to turn this bad decision around.”

Earlier this month, {Last name(s) of senators and representatives} signed a letter sent to Secretary of
Energy Sam Bodman and Office of Management and Budget Director Rob Portman urging them to maintain or
increase the Weatherization program as authorized in the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

Letters to the Editor
   Among the best-read sections of any newspaper.

   Major newspapers get hundreds of letters each
    week, and most run only a few letters a day.

   Pay close attention to the individual rules for getting
    your letter in the paper. A few generic rules:
        Be timely. If your letter is about news that’s a month
         old, it may not get play.
        Be brief. Generally under 200 words.
        Have an angle. Have a reason for them to run it.
        Be sure it is well-written and typed or e-mailed.
        Try to make reference to something that has been in the
         newspaper, especially in another letter to the editor.
Op-Ed Pieces
   Expresses an opinion or reaction to a current issue
    or event.

   500-750 words, concise, to the point.

   Read the paper’s editorial section and guidelines
    before submitting.

   It may take several weeks and some require

   Strategize who the proper author should be: A local
    leader? A client?

   Include complete contact information and a blurb
    about the author.
News Conferences
   Gives your organization a proactive opportunity to state its
    position in depth.

   Allows you to hit multiple outlets at once, but reporters get the
    same story.

   Don’t cry wolf! Call a news conference only if you have
    newsworthy and timely news to break, you have access to a
    limited-access expert or official.

   News rooms are stretched and deadline-driven, so the topic must
    warrant their leaving their desks to attend. Check deadlines of
    the major media before booking.

   Make sure reporters’ needs are met. Mult-boxes for audio, make
    sure there are interesting visuals for television crews and
    photojournalists. Print and electronic copies of background.

   Prepare your representative for a grilling by the media.

   Spokesperson should have a brief statement, then open the
    session for questions from the floor.
What the heck is a blog?

   It is a public journal that allows
    communities of people a way to
    share thoughts and knowledge.
   It is public.
   It contains a searchable archive.
   It shows up in search engine
   It is growing.
   It is a commitment.



   http://www.wxprogram.blogspot.
New Media

   Blogs
   Podcasts & audio releases
   Website & online news room
   Site feeds
 video
   Digital photo applications (
   Social networking sites
       (MySpace & Facebook)
Other Media Relations Tools
   Public service announcement
   Cable channels
   Talk show query
   Media kits & backgrounders
   Advertising
   And many others!
Presenting Tips:

Bullets & Bridging!
 Identify three main points

   Make sure all discussion leads
    back to the three main points

 WOW (Within One Week)
  What is the first step
  you will take toward
improved media relations
 when you return home?
Today’s Training Objectives

   Practice perfecting the message

   Explore media relations tools

   Jump-start your media plans

   Demystify media relations
For more information:
       Laura Johnston Monchuk
    NCAF Communications Consultant

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