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Generating media coverage for a Funding Announcement

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
•    What
•    When
•    Where
•    Why

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?

The key fact to hold on to is that the story is not about the size or nature of the funds that have become available to Scouting. The story is about what the funding will enable Scouting to achieve and how the funds are going to be used. In your release you should explain how the money that was given is going to help Scouting and what specifically will change as a result of the funds being made available. Talk about the different activities they will be able to do now that they have the new building, new equipment a new minibus etc. Keep coming back to the new adventures that the funding will enable our members to have.

What quote should I use?

Make sure you get a quote from a young person or leader that is benefitting from the equipment, building, minibus etc. Getting a firsthand response from someone involved in the story will bring the story to life.

A good example of a leader talking about a building grant would be;

“This grant will mean that we can provide a great new facility that makes it possible for our Scouts to have an adventure every week of the year”
A good example of a youth Member talking about an equipment grant might be:

"I'm so happy my Scout Group has got a grant from xxxxxxx. Now we have a climbing wall in the HQ can have a go at climbing every week. I used to be scared of heights now I love climbing. It‟s a real challenge"

A good example of a youth Member talking about some funding for a new minibus might be

“This money means we have got a new set of wheels. I am so looking forward to going on our summer expedition to Scotland in it. It‟s the first time I have ever been such a long way from home. It‟s going to be a real adventure”

What picture should I use?

When taking the picture to go with your press release try to be as creative as possible. Posed, static shots arent nearly as good as action shots. If your grant has been used to buy some new equipment take a picture of the scouts using that equipment. If the money went towards an extension to an existing building, take a picture of the scouts doing an activity within the building. Action photos tell more of a story than a picture of a person presenting a cheque. 

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.

Its also worth checking out the template press release


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