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Community-made content which you can improve Case study from our community

How to generate news

If you want to build your media profile, here are eight ways to get coverage.

1

Create your own news

You'll need to come up with a positive pitch to convince the media to cover what you're saying. This could take the form of:

  • a new piece of research or important breakthrough
  • a new campaign (which could be linked to the above)
  • strong comments from your chief executive or celebrity supporter
  • strong case studies from your beneficiaries about how their lives have been changed
  • well-researched analysis of the impact of government policy
2

Piggyback on news

This is a proactive response which involves reacting to breaking or ongoing news stories that are relevant to your work. Stay up-to-date by:

  • monitoring newspapers, online news websites (BBC website, others can be found here) and twitter (use a # search) for relevant stories in your issue area
  • setting up Google Alerts to keep you informed about what’s happening
  • looking out for important general news anniversaries -  and any relevant voluntary sector diary dates 
  • following @ConstructiveVox on twitter for news tip offs
  • searching #journorequest and #prrequest on twitter to see what journalists are actively looking for

Be ready to react at short notice. A speedy, brief reaction is usually better than a slow, long one. Make sure you have background notes about your organisation and contact details always ready to go. Here's a handy guide to producing a media toolkit

3

Be on the receiving end of a media request

There are lots of way to ensure that journalists come to you for your views on a report they're preparing or when a story breaks.

4

Write a letter to a newspaper

Can you contribute something new to the debate, react to an announcement or correct something’s that been written? A letter is a quick and relatively low-effort way of getting your views heard in a news environment.

The contact details for writing letters to newspapers will be on their websites. Here a few of the big ones. But also consider your local paper.

Remember, you need to react to a particular article. And include your name, address, postcode and phone number for verification.

5

Call in to a radio station

Radio phone-ins are happening all day every day. Listen out for subjects that are relevant to your work on local radio, and national stations. They're often trailed on twitter so check on there too.

There are daily phone-ins on:

  • LBC  -0345 6060 973
  • BBC Radio 5live - 0500 909 693

It’s often easier to get on air than you might think.

6

Write a blog

Blogs are a great way of communicating your opinions and expertise. Here are some of the things blog editors say they want:

  • Be provocative, start a debate
  • Be relevant to breaking news
  • Bust some myths
  • Talk about your front line work
  • Use humour
  • Get celebrity supporters to contribute (you can help them)

You can ask anyone from a volunteer to the chief executive to write a blog but pitch your idea first. Try:

7

Don't forget magazines

Magazines are great for more feature-type articles. Check out all those magazines for women, men, health, lifestyle and elderly people. 

Remember - magazines have lead-in times of several months. They're usually preparing Christmas editions in mid-summer! So you'll need to be organised if your offering is time-specific. 

8

Make the most of twitter

If you don't have much the time or resources to devote to twitter, here are few quick way to help improve your exposure.

  • Use a pinned tweet to keep at the top of your timeline, with something catchy about what you do/ the impact you have
  • Tweet at particular journalists to catch their attention about something special you've done or tweet them a link to a press release you've just issued. 
  • Tweet about radio or TV interviews you're about to do, get someone to live tweet what you say and tweet the links to them afterwards. You can also tweet the links to articles or programmes in which you've been featured. It's useful having your own audioboom (for audio) and youtube (for visual) channels so you can ensure your material is preserved after tv and radio links expire
  • Use hashtags to join in discussions during influential shows. Eg. #r4today, #bbcqt, #marr
  • Use hashtags to find tweets about your subject area or your geographical area and get involved in the discussion or find new people to follow. Eg #mentalhealth #hatecrime #domesticviolence #sunderland 
  • Keep your Twitter account active, not just in times of news-worthy posts. Journalists and publications will be more likely to retweet or quote something from an account that looks like it stays up to date with current events and is active within the online community.
  • Always bear in mind how you will be perceived by others in terms of the content you engage with and put out.

Further information

How to write an effective press release

How to develop a constructive relationship with journalists

Constructive Voices

Contributors

Page last edited Aug 11, 2017 History

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