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Generating media coverage for an Young Persons Awards Night

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?

In order to get the correct message across, you need to talk about the steps this young person took in order to get the particular badge. It should go into detail about the activities and tasks they had to accomplish in order to get the badge. Also talk about how long it took to accomplish. The important element of the story is what they did to get the award not the moment they received it

What quote should I use?

When including a quote, be sure to get the quote from the scout that actually received the award. If there are multiple scouts who got an award pick the 1 or 2 with the most exciting story to tell.

The quote should tell the story in itself. This means the quote should include their excitement, award name, and their accomplishments.

What picture should I use?

Try and find images from activities that contributed to them achieving the award. It’s the activities that best illustrate the story not the moment the award is presented. Avoid static images of young people holding badges.

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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