Sure some of you have been here before: twiddling your thumbs trying to think up a good plan to get some journalists on-side. Indulge me, let me give you the bad news first: there’s no quick fix. Patience and perseverance rule. The good news: there’s some things you can do to help journalists like you a little better. Here’s six to help get you started.
1/ Quickly respond to their queries. Enough said.
2/ Make their lives easier. Journalists thrive on up-to-date, concise and accurate facts and statistics; and newsworthy stories that sell. Like most of us they’re not super-human and can’t keep up-to-date on every issue. So they tend to depend on a handful of people or organisations that they can turn to and trust when they’re on a sticky wicket. Why not become one of their friends? Recognise the value of the statistics and stories that you collect; and why not think about pinning down and narrowcasting your expertise to a tight, target audience. What issues do you really know a lot about and which journalists would be interested?
3/ Send out useful, engaging press releases and e-mails. Journalists are swamped with them.
4/ Have a sharp press officer on the end of a line. Being over-reliant on websites and social media to get out facts, thoughts and opinions on the politics of the moment can be a tad risky.
5/ Have human stories at the ready. If you happen to be an alert charity or campaigning group you’ll have a good up-to-date “case study” database housing contact details of all those lovely people who have promised to support you by sharing their story with the media.
Last but not least:
6/ A picture launches a thousand journalists. Snap a great shot and get it out there. Fast.
Some useful stuff if you’ve found this interesting
AskCharity a free service designed to help journalists and charities work together.
Volunteer Genie on how to sell a story to a journalist.
Love to hear from you.