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Generating media coverage for your 'A Million Hands' project

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.

Whats the story?

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.

If you have decided to take action to improve the lives of those disabled by society with Leonard Cheshire Disability please find a template here or Guide Dogs here

If you have decided to take action to improve the lives of those disabled living with dementia with Alzhiemer’s Society please find a template here

If you have decided to take part in a walk for water with WaterAid please find a template here

Please also share your story with us at stories.scouts.org.uk

 

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.

Through A Million Hands we want to mobilise half a million Scouts in support of four social issues chosen by our young people. From dementia to those disabled by society, from improving the mental wellbeing and resilience of our communities to ensuring everyone, everywhere has access to clean water and sanitation…These are big issues of our time, but our young people want to tackle them head on.

Our aim is to build real and lasting relationships in communities that will enable young people to continue taking social action long into the future. We are marrying our Movement of over half a million people, reaching into every community across the UK, with the knowledge and expertise of organisations committed to social change.

For more information please see amillionhands.org.uk

What quote should I use?

Make sure you get a quote from a young person. The quote should reflect their excitement at being a part of A Million Hands a positive experience they have gained. This could be about a new activity they have tried, building friendships or simply enjoying themselves.

Also include the quote of an adult volunteer. What have they gained from the experience? It could be organisation skills, confidence or just the reward of helping young people have a positive experience.

 

When taking a picture to go with your press release try to be as creative as possible. Static or posed shots aren’t nearly as effective as action shots.

 

Try to get a picture of some group members involved in an activity. Capture them having fun and looking like they are enjoying themselves.

 

Action shots tell more of a story, try to spend some time prior to the event thinking about what activities will offer a good photo opportunity, and if there is anything you might need to bring along to help get the right shot.

 

Also consider your surroundings, backdrop and lighting. It is hard to get a great shot in a dimly lit Scout HQ.

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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