Eight Tips Your .Org Can Use to Gain Media Coverage: A powerful ally in the fight against diabetes is the media. If you are an organization looking to win the battle for media coverage there may be a few things that can help you achieve the support of the media.
- The media does not have to help you. Unless you are willing to pay for advertising you cannot assume that your local media should be automatically thrilled to jump on your particular bandwagon. Media members are constantly barraged with requests to support or to cover a wide variety of exceptionally good causes. The fight against diabetes may simply be another in a long list of worthy causes.
- Know what you are talking about before you talk about it. If you are granted time to talk to an editor or producer you need to have a firm grasp on what you want to see accomplished and you need to be able to articulate details about diabetes so they can see both your passion as well as how their coverage could be mutually beneficial.
- Know who to talk to. Make some preliminary phone calls that can help you identify the individual you should talk to. Be complimentary without the use of flattery. Allow the media organization to offer ways to help, but if they don’t you should be prepared to offer a few suggestions of your own. Don’t push, but toss a few pebbles into the proverbial water to see what develops.
- If a media interview is granted do not stand them up. You are at the mercy of the media. If they offer support do whatever you need to do to make yourself (or a reliable substitute) available for media coverage.
- Be willing to start small. You might only be able to convince a media outlet to run a public service announcement about your organization, but you need to accept this as a small victory and allow some time to pass before you broach the subject again.
- Offer an expert. Perhaps you are the expert on diabetes or you have a physician or nutritionist in your organization that is. Offer that expertise to the media when they encounter a story where sound bites might be needed related to diabetes coverage. They will list the expert as a member of the organization you are a part of. Once they see the value in accessing the talent pool in your organization they may be more willing to provide better coverage of your events or the underlying reason for your organizations existence.
- Always show gratitude. With every bit of coverage you should send a note of thanks to the media outlet that saw fit to share your news. This is especially important in the beginning. Many media outlets will place these notes on a company bulletin board because they like the encouragement and they don’t always receive as much as they need.
- Develop quality press releases. You might even go so far as to hand deliver them and let the media outlet know you are available to answer any questions they might have. This allows them to see your personal concern for the coverage and provides a professional synopsis of your latest news.
The media can be a valuable aid in the role any diabetes organization plays in a community, but knowing how to approach them may be the best way to develop a meaningful partnership in the role of community awareness.