Media coverage will be crucial to getting the word out in your local community. No amount of advertising in the world can replace the value generated by a positive news article. Here are a few tips as you begin planning outreach surrounding the launch of your local campaign:
- Know what is newsworthy – When working with the media, always understand what is (and is not) newsworthy. Here are some story ideas relating to the campaign to get you started. Also, reporters LOVE facts, especially if they are localized. Enter your program’s data into this recycling calculator to generate some facts of your own.
- Know whom to call –Do a little research on which reporter covers recycling or environmental issues and reach out to them. When you read the newspaper, watch television or listen to the radio, pay attention to who is covering environmental issues or who has covered recycling in your community in the past. Also, never underestimate the power of the non-mainstream media, such as bloggers and weekly newspapers, such as Creative Loafing. You may not be reading blogs, but we can guarantee that our target audience is.Once you find the right people to reach out to, be it a blogger or TV reporter, you will want to make sure this person knows about the campaign. Introduce yourself. Once you’ve established a relationship with the reporter and they come to think of you as a source for recycling or environmental issues, the reporter will be more likely to come to YOU the next time they need information.
- Be prepared – Know what you want to say and why it’s important before you make that first media call. Memorize the statewide campaign key messages and use them when speaking to the media about your campaign. Remember to throw in facts and details as well as local information to show the local impact on recycling the campaign will have. Click here for example pitch materials.
- Keep it simple – Keep the materials you send to the reporter short and to the point. Click here for campaign press release templates and other communication materials that you can localize for your community.
- Follow up when appropriate – Once you have made initial contact with a reporter, think about whether or not it would be useful to follow up. You should plan to follow up with the reporter every time you have something new. The monthly data reports from Re-TRAC provide the perfect opportunity. The media may not cover them every time, but it will help keep them up to speed on the overall campaign progress, etc.
We want to hear from you! Were you able to place a media story about the campaign in your community? Share it with us!