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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