Free stuff! Yay!
You need publicity,
I need content.
Match made in heaven, right?
Well... just read this first.
Whether you're in the community sector, social enterprise, government or private sector, your news is important to us if it achieves any (or some) of these aims:
bringing people together, promoting unity and inspiring helping behaviour among members of the community
works to reduce housing and/or food insecurity in the area, treating those living with poverty in a way that respects their agency and dignity.
works to preserve the environment; parks, wildlife, insect life, waterways, wetlands and other habitat
works to reduce waste, pollution, single use plastics etc. or initiates an organised effort to upcycle/repurpose waste items into something different and useful.
gives youth and kids of the Hawkesbury a "voice" or a novel opportunity to express themselves through art, media, etc
works towards reducing social isolation in seniors and those living in aged care
provides equal opportunity/access to learning, socialisation and/or creative opportunities for people on low incomes
lifts up the stories of the Darug community
raises money for the Women's Cottage and other local organisations providing food and cash relief, emergency accommodation, counselling and support to Hawkesbury families experiencing and recovering from trauma
informs and educates the community about important safety information, and/or resources RFS personnel with the PPE and other equipment they need to endure the fire danger period.
Those are just some ideas, but we hope that you now have some sense of the storytelling we love to provide a platform for. Sorry - "We have a new product!" is not news.
So how do you give yourself the best chance at coverage?
Use a media release to tell us your news, and provide quality high resolution photographs with the media release, in ONE email.
A media release (or press release) is a short, concise document that outlines your news, containing the crucial information; that is, "Who/What/Where/When/Why" and some quotes from the key people in the story. It ends with contact information for the best spokesperson for your news, and also provides a date that it's okay to release your news. If you just want help to tell the world RIGHT NOW, just write. "For Immediate Release" at the top.
No media release should be more than a page if you can possibly help it.
Remember - give Editors AT LEAST 6 weeks of headway before the event or relevant period of the news item. Telling an Editor or Writer that something is happening "next week" is way too late most of the time, and does not give you a very good chance at coverage; particularly with print media.
No - Editors are not obliged to run your story.
No - we don't want to run gossipy or "disgruntled ratepayer" stories.
Yes - it helps if you provide a phone number, email address, website, social media links, Youtube channel, hours available.
Yes - we love to hear of programs being run in community centres and schools.
Yes - learn the deadlines of local print media and don't contact a writer on the exact day of deadline expecting to get into the magazine or paper that very second. You probably have to wait until the following issue. FYI, the deadline for West of the River Magazine is October 31, 2020. For our podcast, there is no deadline! Woohoo!
Try writing your very own media release!
At the top of the page, write the desired date of release. If that's just ASAP, write "For Immediate Release".
Now write the date of release.
Underneath that, write a title. Don't sensationalise it please! Just stick to the facts. What is happening and who does it involve?
Now write an introductory paragraph.
Under that write some quotes from the key people involved. Three quotes is okay. Four or five is better.
Continue in the next paragraph to expand upon WHY this is happening. The more detail you share and the more you open up to explain the reasoning behind it, the more your audience can connect and relate to your story.
Lastly, provide the contact name, number, email address, available hours for more interviewing.
Attach your Word file to an email and email it to the Editor: email@example.com
Don't forget to also email 2+ high resolution quality photographs.