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Generating media coverage from a guest speaker

This is one of a series of guides that explain how everyday events in the life of a Scout Group, District or County can be used to generate media coverage.

What are the facts

All good media work begins with a press release. When starting out writing your press release make sure you answer the following questions.

Who was there? What happened? When it happened, Where it happened, and Why the event occurred.

Make sure you summarise the whole story in the first paragraph of the release. A journalist should be able to grasp the basic details of what went on by reading this paragraph. The remainder of the release is a detailed expansion of the facts.

Key Messages

Key messages are essential tools in all communications work. To be effective as a communicator you need to identify the key messages that you want to deliver and use them as a way of structuring your writing.

Every piece of communication should have a key message. Is it obvious? Do you know what it is? If a story your writing doesn't have a key message and demonstrate Scouting as a modern, growing, adventure based organisation why are you writing it?

All of your stories should provide an opportunity to deliver Scouting’s key messages. These messages can be demonstrated in every part of your story from the who, what, when, where, why to the images and quotes. All of the information that you include should support your messages.

What’s the story?

What quote should I use?

When including a quote, get a quote from a scout who has been positively affected by this speaker. You could also get a quote from the speaker themselves talking about how much they enjoyed interacting with the young people during the visit. The quote should capture the story.

What picture should I use?

When taking the picture to go with your press release, try to be as creative as possible. Do not go for the obvious photo of the speaker surrounded by the troop or the visitor talking while the unit listen. Plan something so that you can set up an action shot with interaction of the speaker with the unit while you are taking the photos or think about props that can be used.

Stay firm

Write the story you want to write. Don’t let the reporters sway your decision making. This goes along for the picture as well. Once you make up your mind for a picture you want to use, set it up and tell them what you will be using for the picture.

It's also worth checking out the template press release

 

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