GET YOUR STORIES IN THE MEDIA
Rotary does great things, so let’s tell the stories with routine press releases – it’s easy. Particularly with plastics so topical, sharing how you reduce waste in your activities will catch the attention of the community and let’s hope that attracts new members.
Most of the community is unaware of the work Rotary does, so also consider occasionally sharing a big picture Rotary story. For example, copy and paste a brief story that Rotary is within inches of eradicating polio from the planet or ESRAGs million tree project. As Rotarians we are part of a powerhouse global community – let’s tell our local communities.
Make press releases routine after your activities. The first one will take some time to prepare, but they will become quick and easy. Often it will be a simple copy and paste of a previous release and replace sections with new content. See template below.
Keep previous press releases. For example, reporting the annual change over dinner is very easy when it is simply “Save as” and insert the names of the new office bearers and a few more words about the event.
Build a list of target contacts. Include local and regional newspapers, electronic publications, radio stations, television stations (why not? They just might pick up the story.), local bloggers, what other channels are in your community?
When planning an activity decide when you will send the press release. Sometimes there will be two. First to tell the press it is happening – that may include inviting them along or asking the media to advertise the event. Then a report after the activity.
At the time of your release add the activity to your social media. Also, post to your Plastic Free Oceans feed and invite members to comment and click the share links to Facebook and Twitter.
Keep it simple. Don’t make it perfect. Keep at it. Most of the time your article will not get published – don’t be disheartened – keep doing it – it may one day.
When you are no longer responsible for the role pass on the contacts list and the catalogue of previous releases. Also, spend some time mentoring the person taking over the role – you will save them time and continue the quality.
Oh and give thought to how you make welcome and engage potential new members. First impressions count big time – be mindful they may be coming along to check out how they can be part of environmental activities.
Press release template
Fill in the sections below and your press release is done. Usually ‘Less is More’ will increase the chance of getting published.
<Activity Title – Make it catchy and include the group name>
<A sentence about the purpose>
<Content: 2 to 4 interesting paragraphs is all you need. Where was it? Who was there? What happened? Perhaps how much was raised or other items of interest – what would you like to read? >
<A sentence or two about how you reduced waste at the activity.>
<‘Learn more about our group at – website or Facebook’ >
<Follow us at: http://plasticfreeoceans.net/<your-page-address>
<Up to 5 high resolution images.>
<For further details about this article contact: name, email, phone >