Tips for Earning Quality Media

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Exposing your company’s brand to the community is often essential when running a successful business. If your company wishes to market itself to the community in a certain way with a specific image, you may consider hosting a special event outside your office to spread awareness of your company’s services and mandate.

Many companies choose to hold fundraising events in their community, volunteer with local campaigns or make a considerable donation to a charity in need. The key to making these events a success is due in large part to their media outreach ahead of their scheduled event. Media attention only enhances the visibility of your company and that of the charity/ event that you support. While a solid press release is necessary to send to local media after an event has taken place, often the most important component is the aggressive media outreach performed ahead of time.

Journalists are hungry for information and are always looking for something new and intriguing to cover. Local journalists are also especially attuned to local events as they relate to the public.

Below are some tips on engaging your local media and ensuring their appearance at your next event:

• Create a solid media advisory which you will be distributing to your local media one or two days before your event.

• Your advisory should answer the basic WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY, and feature a catchy headline. Keep it short and in point form.

• Make sure to include contact information for your company’s communications person or outside PR firm.

• Assign your communications person to create a list of your local media with e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Send the advisory to these contacts and assign the same team member to perform follow-up calls.

• Be sure to follow-up with a press release after your event has taken place. It doesn’t hurt to attach photos of the event at the end of the release which the newspaper can publish in their next edition.

Journalists have a unique role to play in the community and captivating their interest is key to developing a positive working relationship with the news media. Once you have established a relationship with these news members, they are more likely to attend your next event, as well as  possibly promote your services to the community.

For more information please feel free to contact me at 613-233-8906 or by e-mail at with questions or comments.

Huw Williams is President of Impact Public Affairs, an Ottawa-based public relations and government relations firm specializing in finding innovative strategic communications and advocacy solutions for large industry associations. Over the years, Impact has been recognized nationally and internationally for the effective and creative public affairs campaigns that it has created for its clients.

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