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Generating media coverage for a Centenary Celebration

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?

Happy 100th birthday! Reaching this landmark is an exciting time for your Group.

Over the past hundred years Scouting has provided young people the opportunity to take part in a range of adventurous activities that help them to grow into responsible, well-rounded adults.

As we head into the next hundred years of the Movement we will continue to offer up-to-date opportunities that are built around the same values Scouting has always held.

Your 100th birthday is not only a celebration, but a great way to gain media attention and give your community more insight to your Group’s past accomplishments and future plans.

How should you celebrate your centenary?

To celebrate, choose activities that acknowledge your past, yet show that you are continuing to stay modern and keep up with the times. The great temptation is to use your birthday to talk about past activities and focus on Scouting’s history. While we should be justly proud of our history we must use opportunities like this to focus on what Scouting offers young people today and how it meets their needs. When you arrange your special event, focus on activities that that fall within Scouting’s core brand of everyday adventure. Here are four simple ideas that should be easy to organise:

Run a Group barbecue or activity day to show off all the activities your Members undertake. Invite all the parents and the local community.
Stage a climb or abseil up (or down) a 100 ft climbing wall or local building.
ÂźHike a hundred miles (each Group Member hikes for one or more miles).
ÂźRun a camp or series of camps to generate one hundred or one thousand nights of camping.

What media should we try and contact?

Please submit the details of your story at stories.scouts.org.uk for more help

What aspects of what you do should we highlight to the media?

Scouting helps to develop a young person’s physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential. To achieve this Scouts participate in all types of activities, many of which would not be feasible if the young people had to do them on their own. Use the celebration to:

Make sure you help any journalist you talk with think about the next hundred years as well as the last. Journalists love statistics so work out some facts that show:

What type of pictures should we take to show off Scouting at its best?

Pictures are a great way to quickly grab a reader’s attention. Below are some simple dos and don’ts for getting that perfect picture of your centenary celebration:

DO

DON’T<

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.

 

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