Inviting the Media
In addition to inviting your elected officials, invite your local media to your event and make a splash! The fact that your elected officials are attending your event is newsworthy, and your officials will appreciate the spotlight. Take advantage of this opportunity to build public awareness about your programs.
Prior to the event
- E-mail a press release: The press release is a short piece that includes the "who, what, where, when and why" about your event. The press release should be faxed or e-mailed to newspaper, television and radio reporters at least 5-10 days in advance of your event. (See the sample press release in" Sample Documents")
- Follow up with a phone call to each reporter 3 days before your event. Remind them about your event and ask if they plan to attend. Be prepared with a few talking points to sell your event, including the names of all elected officials that will be attending or that are quoted. Consider practicing your “pitch” with a colleague before making your first call.
During the event
- Delegate a member of your organizing committee to greet the press and act as host and escort throughout the event.
- Provide each reporter a press kit including a press release, and sampling of any previous press clippings you might have and a business card.
- Ask reporters when they plan to publish or air a piece on your event. Request copies.
After the event
- Designate members of your organizing committee to search the local papers for press coverage. Save articles for future use. If your event received television coverage, call the station and request a videotape copy.
Finding Your Local News Media
Use the following resources to find the web sites and contact information of your local print, online, college, radio and television media:
Involving Your Community
If you are incorporating a public event, such as an arts exhibition, or performance in your elected official visit, invite parents, teachers, administrators, school board members and community members to participate. Methods of getting the word out might include:
- Create a flyer about your event. At least one week prior to your event, send copies of the flyer home with all of your students to give to their parents, put them in teacher and staff mailboxes, post them around your school and in community buildings such as libraries and recreation centers. (See Sample Flyer [Word .docx:87K] )
- Share the flyer and press release with the school and local arts organizations. Ask them to post the information on their website, social media or include it in an upcoming newsletter or article in the school newspaper.
- Share the flyer on facebook, twitter and other online networks. Ask others to do the same.