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Generating media coverage to recruit new lead volunteers

This text is designed to be used if you need to place a piece in a local paper that sells the benefits of volunteering to recruit flexible adult volunteers by generating 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 an existing leader at the group, possibly a recent recruitment, who has been positively affected by their volunteering role. By using a current leader, you are giving a credible first-hand account of the positive impact of being a volunteer for this group.

This quote should support the key messages of the piece, and how volunteering for the group will help it bring every day adventure, fun and challenge to even more young people in the area. This will support and challenge more young people to discover new talents, reach their potential and become active members within their communities.

You should also highlight the significance on the young people who are part of the group, and the opportunities that Scouting gives them.

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 young people and leaders expressing their distress at the group struggling as this displays negativity, rather than promoting volunteering as dynamic and positive activity.

Plan something that you can set up an action shot with interaction of leaders with young people, possibly doing an activity, representing Scouting as a modern, vibrant, adventure orientated organisation.

This reinforces the Scout brand and underpins the relevant key messages by demonstrating the benefits on both adults and young people.

It is also worth checking out the template press release


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