The ABCs of Effective Media Relations media training by NRCS

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									          Media Relations

Jeanne Comerford
Public Affairs Specialist
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Develop a communications plan
• Who is your audience?
• What do they know?
• What do they want to know?
• What are their needs and/or concerns?
• What’s the best way to reach them?
• Create an action plan and timeline
• How will you evaluate success?
The communications toolbox
•   Publicity             •   Posters
•   Brochures             •   Exhibits
•   Fact sheets           •   Presentations
•   Website               •   Give-away items
•   Media kits            •   Special events


         Common message, look and feel.
Publicity and media relations
• What is publicity?
• Why do you want it?
• How do you get it?
  – Do something newsworthy
  – Let the media know about it
Getting the word out
• News releases
• Media advisories   Media contacts
A news release is...
• Like a news article that you write
  about your own organization

• Intended for publication

• A tool for getting publicity

• A way to communicate with your clients
A news release is not...

• An advertisement

• Guaranteed to be printed or aired

• A letter to reporters or editors
What makes news?
• Relevance
  – Is your news of local interest?
  – Why should I care?
• Impact
  – How does your news affect me, my life,
    my family?
• Timeliness
  – Is your news about an upcoming event or
    a current issue?
Writing a good news release
• Most important facts in the lead
  paragraph
• Details in later paragraphs
• Be brief
• Be accurate
• Use correct grammar and spelling
• Avoid jargon and acronyms
News Release Structure
      The Inverted Pyramid
     What, When, Where, Who, Why


          Important Details


              Misc. Info.
Dealing with the media
• Have a plan before speaking with the
  media.
• Keep track of media calls.
• Be brief.
• Return calls promptly.
• Avoid speculation
  and opinion.
Dealing with the media
• Don’t joke with a reporter.
• Don’t argue with a reporter.
• Never ask to see a story before it goes
  to print.
• It is OK to ask the reporter to read your
  quotes back to you.
Dealing with the media

• Accentuate the positive.
• Stick to your message.
• Keep your cool.
• Never say the words “no comment.”
• There is no such thing as off the record.
Measures of success
• News clips
• Amount of literature distributed
• Requests for information
• Increased program participation
• Increased revenue
• Statistical analysis
Questions?

 Jeanne Comerford
 Public Affairs Specialist
 USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
 60 Quaker Lane
 Warwick, RI 02886
 401.822.8816
 jeanne.comerford@ma.usda.gov

								
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