Engaging with the media (Part Two: Press releases)

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Having covered some of the basics of engaging with the media in a previous post, we are now going to look in more detail at how to write, format and deliver a press release.

As a communications professional, it’s your job to make life as easy as possible for the journalist covering your story. When you are placing a story about an event, report or anything else with a lot of details involved, a useful way of getting all the necessary information in one place is to issue a press release.

Press releases are standard in the media although they can seem daunting if you’ve never written one. To get you started, here are five steps to make your press releases more effective.

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Engaging with the media (Part One: The Basics)

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The relationship between third sector organisations and the media is changing. Communicating with people about your organisation has never been easier – with your website, social media accounts and other ‘owned channels’ you have the tools to reach hundreds or even thousands of people at your fingertips, without ever crossing paths with a traditional journalist.

However, getting positive media coverage remains a hugely powerful way of reaching new audiences, building your reputation and strengthening your brand. Many third sector organisations don’t know where to start with getting the media interested in their stories, so they abandon PR altogether. Others try, but with badly-written, poorly-targeted efforts, getting discouraged when they don’t see results. Either way, they miss out on a hugely valuable communications tool.

To develop a PR stand in your comms strategy, you just need to plan carefully and know some of the basics. To get you started, here are five essential steps to engaging with the media.

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Creating case studies

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It’s one of the most common communications mistakes made by third sector organisations. When describing what they do, they focus on either their inputs (the resources they have spent doing their work) or their outputs (the actual work they have done), rather than their impact – i.e. what has changed as a result of their work.

But showing the impact of your work is crucial – this is what funders, supporters and potential service users all want to see, and it’s what makes people remember you.

One of the best and simplest ways of showing your impact is by producing compelling case studies.

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Let’s get together! Three great reasons to join the CharityComms Midlands Networking Group

Become part of our network

Working in communications for a regional charity can be an isolating experience – you often work on your own, your colleagues probably don’t really understand exactly what you do, and with a lot of sector events being rather London-centric, it sometimes feels like yours is the only charity based outside the M25.

But with more than 20,000 charities in the East and West Midlands combined, you are far from alone. That’s why the CharityComms Midlands Networking Group was set up – to bring together the many communications professionals working with and for charities in the Midlands, with a view to supporting, inspiring and learning from each other.

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New #ccmidlands event: Creating content that works for you

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In a world where competition for your audience’s attention is fierce, it’s no longer enough to simply have a digital presence as a charity – you need to fill it with interesting, useful and relevant content.

But what constitutes great content? How do you find/create it? And how do you make it work for your charity?

These are the questions that we will be discussing at the next meet up of the CharityComms Midlands Networking Group.

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#ccmidlands – Making the case for communications

Charity Comms Midlands

As a comms professional working in the third sector, you know how crucial good communications is to the success of your organisation. But do your colleagues understand and value the role of comms as a central business function within your charity or non-profit?

That was the question that inspired the topic for the second meeting of the CharityComms Midlands Networking Group: Demonstrating the value of communications.

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