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How to share your stories on a budget

Do you want to bring your stories to life and reach a wider audience? Don’t have a media team, social media officer or the budget to deliver an integrated comms plan? Here’s how to help raise your profile on a shoestring budget.

Things you'll need

  • Interesting stories and insights to share
1

Comment on news articles, blogs and features

How often do you spot an article which is relevant to your organisation and actually take time to add a comment? Most blogs and news sites have comments boxes. They present a great opportunity to share your insights and reach a new audience. Don’t forget to include a link so readers and journalists can find out more.

You may have to be cautious if the article is sensitive or controversial or there have been negative or offensive comments. Once you have posted your comment, keep an eye on the article for further comments in case any are in response to you.

To get started, why not add your expertise to this guide, or contribute to a new Knowhow wiki. Or take a look at the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network which has lots of opportunities to comment. Once you are comfortable with commenting, widen your search to local, national and popular blog sites.

2

Write a blog post instead of a press release

Next time a news story breaks which is relevant to your organisation, respond to it with a blog post. Before publishing yourself, send it to journalists – they’re always looking for expert perspectives on hot issues. A blog post can do this more powerfully than a press release.

If journalists don’t take it up, publish it yourself and promote it widely via social media and comment boxes. 

3

Connect with what's on TV and radio

Keep an eye on what’s going on across radio and TV over the coming week. What PR opportunities might there be for your work? Dramas, soap storylines and documentaries all present opportunities if they are relevant to your cause.

For example, when BBC drama Waterloo Road featured a dementia storyline, there were no charities taking the opportunity to join in the conversation online. All missed an opportunity to connect with the elusive 16-25 year-old age group, many of whom would have been watching while using social media.

Tweeting using the show’s hashtag or posting on Facebook during and immediately after the show, gives the sense that you are connected with what’s going on. You have a chance to reach a new audience and answer questions. 

4

Be your own social reporter

Use your smartphone to gather interviews, images and videos to use in your own marketing or to send to the media. Because you carry the kit around with you all the time, you can take advantage of unexpected opportunities.

You can’t be everywhere so train and trust your volunteers so they can help capture and share stories for you. You may even ask them to live tweet when the opportunity arises.

5

Create a multimedia toolkit of content

Journalists increasingly want multimedia content. Gather, edit and file photographs, video and audio so they are ready when you need them. Make sure everything is of broadcast or publish quality and you have all the permissions in place. If you don’t have enough images or content crowdsouce from your supporters and invite them to get involved and be part of the process

Develop a simple content calendar to help you plan and predict what new stories and multimedia you’ll need to gather.

6

Connect with journalists

AskCharity is a free service run by CharityComms to help journalists and charities. Journalists can use it to find case studies, spokespeople and information from a wide range of charities. Charities can use it to build their media contacts and coverage.

Pressat also helps charities, communities and citizen journalists get their stories into the national and regional media.

You could also watch the #journorequest hashtag to find journalists’ asking for case studies and stories.

Further information

This how-to is based on a blog post written by Jude Habib of sounddelivery for Tennyson Insurance now Zurich Insurance

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Page last edited Jun 23, 2017 History

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