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Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention Carmen Bray Director of Communications Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Kristen Wishon Communications Specialist Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
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  • Quick and Easy Strategies

    to Get Media Attention

    Carmen Bray Director of Communications Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

    Kristen Wishon Communications Specialist Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Our Goal

    Provide media strategies and tactics

    you can quickly implement to help

    your land trust or conservation

    organization

    Obtain and increase media

    coverage

    Increase brand awareness

    Gain trust with journalists and

    reporters

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media relations is defined as the interactions

    with editors, reporters and journalists to

    communicate a newsworthy idea, message,

    story or information through various media

    outlets.

    Media relations also pertains to how you

    communicate with online news sites,

    bloggers, podcasters, etc. Collectively, this

    group is referred to as media influencers.

    What Is Media Relations?

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Newspapers

    Radio

    Social Media

    Television

    Magazines

    Video & Podcasts

    Internet, Blogs, Online News Sites

    24-Hour

    News Cycle

    Today’s Journalists

    Growing need to

    deliver the most

    immediate and

    compelling news

    Increased

    competition for

    audience

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Today’s Journalists

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Has too much to do and not enough time to do it

    Receives hundreds of pitches daily

    Faces tight, inflexible deadlines

    Looks for stories that interest, inform and entertain

    their readership, followers, listeners or viewers

    Shares stories on various platforms

    Today’s Journalists

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Preview news opportunities through a three-tiered lens:

    Breaking Emergencies, accidents, fires or press conferences

    Time Sensitive Approaching deadlines, anniversaries, events, volunteer opportunities, call-to-actions, construction or seasonal-related information

    Feature Story or “Evergreen” Profiles, features, good-news stories or information that doesn’t have a hard timeline and can be considered news at any time

    Today’s Journalists

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Need interesting story ideas to do

    their jobs

    Seek easy to understand and

    accessible information

    Use press releases, pitches, social

    media, expert connections,

    websites, think tanks, reports,

    trends, public meetings, breaking

    news, etc.

    They need: YOU

    Today’s Journalists and Influencers

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    How do you get their attention?

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    1. Have media materials and elevator speech always ready

    2. Find and build relationships with local media influencers

    3. Make your media pitches and materials newsworthy:

    relevant, relatable and readable

    4. Use your members and volunteers as storytellers

    5. Make it easy for influencers to find your information online

    6. Evaluate efforts and follow up

    Quick and Easy Strategies

    to Get Media Attention

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    #1

    Have media materials and elevator

    speech always ready

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Newsletters

    Magazines

    Fact sheets

    Brochures

    Examples of media-ready materials

    Website / blog

    Social media content

    Annual reports

    Videos

    • Influencers want to learn about your organization: Your

    news, mission, outcomes, needs, etc.

    • No matter if the information is one month or six months

    old, influencers like to learn about stories and ideas

    that they can follow up on.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media Materials: Elevator Speech

    Do you have one?

    If so, how often do you use it?

    It’s a good first answer to a

    media influencer’s question:

    “Tell me about your

    organization?”

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Elevator Speech Examples

    10-second version

    The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy improves our region’s quality of

    life by conserving land and water, planting gardens and green spaces in 20

    counties, and preserving Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. Learn more at

    WaterLandLife.org.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Elevator Speech Examples

    30-second version

    At the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, all of our work enhances the

    quality of life in our region. We’re the state’s first conservancy, and we

    have protected more than 255,000 acres. WPC helped to establish 10

    state parks, including Ohiopyle, Laurel Ridge, McConnells Mill, Moraine,

    Oil Creek and Erie Bluffs, and we continue to conserve exceptional places

    to provide our region with clean waters and healthy forests, wildlife and

    natural areas.

    We own and operate Fallingwater, the famous Frank Lloyd Wright house in

    Fayette County. And you’ve probably seen our community gardens and

    green spaces – they beautify 132 communities in 20 counties. We’re a

    member-supported nonprofit organization with many volunteer

    opportunities. Learn more about us at WaterLandLife.org or

    Fallingwater.org.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media Materials: Elevator Speech

    Activity #1

    Elevator Speech

    What is your organization’s elevator speech?

    List five words that you want to convey to the public

    about your organization.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media Materials: Press Release

    Is the Press Releases still a useful PR tactic? YES.

    “Spray and Pray” strategy does not work anymore: News stories

    don’t always originate by a press release

    Used by many industries regularly (e.g.: financial, manufacturing)

    Provides credibility to the source and information

    Gives story context

    Indicates activity and momentum

    Provides a timeline of your organization’s history

    Used in targeted media pitches

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    #2

    Find and build relationships with

    local media influencers

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Finding and Building Relationships

    Find influencers covering conservation

    in your community and region to build your media list

    Connect with local editors via news websites or traditional newspapers

    Conduct research of media outlets via Google

    Use paid platforms: (e.g.: Cision, Meltwater, AgilityPR, Pressfarm, PR Newswire, etc.)

    Find news outlets that reach your target audience, prioritize

    Search by medium and readership or audience size (e.g.: online, print, TV,

    radio, etc.)

    Search by traditional beats: Conservation, Environmental, Nature, Outdoor,

    Agriculture, Local/County Government, Recreation

    Find the local/regional Associated Press reporter

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Finding and Building Relationships

    Find influencers covering conservation

    in your community and region

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Finding and Building Relationships

    Start building relationships with reporters

    Introduce yourself via email, include information about a past story or

    post.

    Set up a time for coffee and see what type of stories interest them.

    Follow an influencer on social media, and retweet or comment on

    stories.

    Make yourself or staff available as media experts.

    Follow up with influencers you are trying to cultivate about once or

    twice a month.

    Influencers need to see you and your organization as

    credible, knowledgeable and resourceful

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Finding and Building Relationships

    Activity #2

    Media Wish List

    Who do you want covering your organization’s work?

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    #3

    Make Your Media Pitch and

    Materials Newsworthy: Relevant, Relatable and Readable

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media Pitches and Newsworthiness

    Media Pitch: A story idea you want to share with an influencer for a potential news story. Do research on the media influencer you want to cover your organization. For example, don't pitch the sports editor with your great land protection story!

    The six questions of a good story: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How

    The three “Rs” of newsworthiness: Relevant, Relatable and Readable

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media Pitches and Newsworthiness

    Start pitching news story ideas with reporters

    Pitch compelling story ideas to journalists: Journalism is about storytelling and telling compelling stories that attract

    interest and readers.

    Offer reporters the problem/solution tactic:

    Your conservation work is solving or will soon solve an important

    conservation or environmental problem.

    Join local writers or media association organizations:

    They provide a good way to network and bounce story ideas off of

    others.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media Pitches and Newsworthiness

    Elements of an effective news pitch

    1. Offer newsworthy story ideas with a human-interest factor.

    2. Write clear, concise pitches via email, with attention grabbing

    subject lines. (No phone calls!)

    3. Remove jargon or scientific terms from pitches.

    4. Offer ways to help promote the story on social media channels and

    other communications.

    5. Localize your story – news happening on the state or national level.

    6. Use visual elements to tell the story (e.g.: photos, videos and other supporting information).

    7. Use call-to-actions for the influencers’ audiences ( e.g.: volunteer, learn, hike, donate, apply, post, buy, etc.).

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media Pitches and Newsworthiness

    The General Land Trust announced today a donation of an agricultural conservation easement on agrarian land in Clancy, Pa. owned by Joe Smith.

    The property, now saved through perpetuity, is also prolific with native species and wildlife habitats, and hosts vernal pools and important ecosystems.

    Good pitch or bad pitch?

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media Pitches and Newsworthiness

    Joe Smith has lived in the small farming town of Clancy, Pa. since he was 10 years old. For decades, he worked on his family farm and sold tomatoes and peppers at local community markets.

    Good pitch or bad pitch?

    Today, he took the first step to make sure his grandkids could also grow up with a similar farming ethic on his land that includes wetlands and native wildlife. Joe donated his farm to the General Land Trust so that it’s protected forever.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media Pitches and Newsworthiness

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media Pitches and Newsworthiness

    Readability Score: An algorithm that shares what level of education

    someone will need to be to easily understand information.

    Check scores through many online resources and in Microsoft Word.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media Pitches and Newsworthiness

    Make pitches or stories easy to understand and feel

    effortless to read

    Simple sentence structure

    Use easy words your readers can understand

    Define complex and science-based

    Use one idea per sentence

    Use active sentences

    Lose the conservation jargon to improve readability!

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media Pitches and Newsworthiness

    Activity #3

    Media Pitch Form

    Can you write an effective pitch based off of one of these photos?

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Media Pitches: Activity #3

    #1 #2 #3

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    #4

    Use your members and volunteers

    as storytellers

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Members and Volunteers as Storytellers

    Identify members, supporters or volunteers who can share

    their experiences about your work.

    Connect your storytellers to media influencers – let them

    help you share your story.

    Ask your storyteller to submit photos and video of them in

    action – enjoying a hike at a preserve, volunteering to plant a

    tree, etc.

    Add a face to your land closing or stewardship

    project, whenever possible!

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    #5

    Make it easy for media influencers

    to find your information online

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Connecting to Influencers Online

    Websites

    When influencers research topics, they often

    turn to Google or other search engines.

    Optimize your website to help influencers

    find your website and online information.

    Use a modern content management

    system, like WordPress, for your website.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Connecting to Influencers Online

    Search engine

    optimization

    (SEO): a

    combination of

    strategies that will

    help with

    identifying

    keywords and

    readability.

    Use plugins to help

    - like YoastSEO.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Connecting to Influencers Online

    Social Media

    Americans are changing

    their relationship with

    Facebook.

    Still, there are 2.2 billion

    monthly active users on

    Facebook and 68 million

    active users in the U.S. on

    Twitter.

    • Cambridge Analytica scandal • Recent Facebook data breech

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Connecting to Influencers Online

    Influencers are

    using social

    media platforms

    regularly.

    In a recent study,

    80% of journalists

    said they regularly

    use social

    networking sites to

    stay on top of

    recent news

    developments.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Connecting to Influencers Online

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Connecting to Influencers Online Social Media

    Influencers follow your posts!

    Balance creativity with accurate and informative information

    Link to your web content or other reliable sources

    Post engaging photos and videos.

    Follow media influencers and interact with them by retweeting,

    liking and sharing content.

    Use hashtags related to a topic or media outlet, and it MAY

    appear in the media influencers’ newsfeed.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Connecting to Influencers Online Social Media

    Get staff to help populate social media content.

    Change social media posts frequently. Influencers like to see

    what’s changing and the different types of work your organization

    performs.

    Ask your field staff to provide photos and video of current activity

    in the field.

    Obtain information and quickly post, share it. Timeliness is

    important.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    #6

    Evaluate efforts and follow up

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Evaluate and Follow up

    Is it all worth it and working?

    You see an increase in media placements, especially for key stories

    around important issues.

    Influencers call you first without pitching to them – for more

    information or to bounce an idea off of you.

    Your organization is seen as a leader in watershed or land

    conservation within your region.

    • Evaluate if you need to cultivate new or additional influencers on different topics.

    • Keep to directory of your media placements for future

    reference and to continue building relationships with the

    influencers.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Evaluate and Follow up

    Once you get an article placed, follow up!

    Follow up to comment on the effectiveness of the article and say

    thanks.

    Share the article on social media.

    Share the article with members, board members, supporters and

    project funders.

    Let the reporter know you’re sharing their work – which in a way

    helps to build their followers and audience.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    Evaluate and Follow up

    Free Resources to help Maximize your Media Relations Use college students for internships: Local colleges and universities

    that have journalism or communications departments will have

    students interested in building their portfolios.

    Help build your media list

    Help create social media content

    Redo or boost your website with an upgraded CMS

    Help optimize your website with SEO strategies or Google

    Ads (formerly Google AdWords)

    Write stories to populate your website, that includes interviews with

    members, volunteers or partners related to ongoing projects.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    What did we learn today?

    You already have media-ready materials and publications!

    We crafted five words you can add into your elevator speech.

    We provided information on ways to build your media list and reach

    out to local journalists and other media influencers.

    Your information to influencers needs to be newsworthy: relevant,

    relatable and readable.

    By optimizing your website and using social media, you increase

    your chances for influencers to follow your work and write stories.

  • Quick and Easy Strategies to Get Media Attention

    What did we learn today?

    Use your members, volunteers, partners and staff as storytellers. Let

    some of your biggest advocates share your mission and work.

    Getting media attention takes time. Follow up with reporters even if

    you don’t get a news story placed to obtain feedback.

    Don’t give up reaching out to different media influencers!

    Remember: No news is NOT always good news

    – especially when it comes to media relations!

  • Thank You!

    Questions?

    Carmen Bray Director of Communications Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

    Kristen Wishon Communications Specialist Western Pennsylvania Conservancy