GET YOUR STORIES IN THE MEDIA
Rotary does great things, so let’s tell the stories with routine press releases—it’s easy. Because sustainability is so topical at the moment, sharing what you do for a more sustainable world will catch the attention of the community and attract new members.
Most of the community is unaware of the work Rotary does, so also consider occasionally sharing a ‘big picture’ Rotary story. For example, copy and paste a brief story of how Rotary is within inches of eradicating polio from the planet or ESRAG’s sustainability projects. Showcase how Rotarians are a powerhouse global community.
And keep a copy of each press release in the Docs & Links section of your Sustainable Social Page.
- Make it part of your routine to do a press release after your activities. Perhaps delegate this to your social media person, who will already have the story and images. The first press release may take some time to prepare, but then they will become easier. Often you can do a simple copy and paste of a previous release and replace sections with new content. See the template, below.
- Keep previous press releases. For repeating events, such as reporting the annual change, make a new document using ‘Save as’ and insert the names of the new office bearers, as well as a few more words about the event. Tada!
- Build a list of target contacts that you send to regularly. Include local and regional newspapers, electronic publications, radio stations, television stations, local bloggers, and any other community resources you can think of. Be sure to include smaller, local outlets but also don’t be afraid to dream big.
- When planning an activity, decide when you will send the press release. Sometimes there will be two releases: one to tell the press it is happening (this may include inviting the media along or asking them to advertise the event) and another that reports after the activity.
- At the time of your release, add the activity to your social media. Also, post to your Sustainable Social feed and invite members to comment and click the share links to Facebook and Twitter.
- Keep it simple. Don’t aim for perfection and don’t give up. Most of the time your article will not get published but keep at it. Eventually you will get to yes.
- When you are no longer responsible for press releases, pass on the contacts list and the catalogue of previous releases. Also, spend some time mentoring the person taking over the role to save them time and maintain quality.
- Finally, give thought to how you welcome and engage potential new members. First impressions count big time—be mindful that the media and other guests may eventually become part of your team.
Press release template
Fill in the sections below. Thats it! Your press release is done. Usually ‘Less is More’ will increase the chance of getting published.
<Activity Title – Make it catchy and include the group name>
<A sentence about the purpose>
<Content: 2 to 4 interesting paragraphs is all you need. Where was it? Who was there? What happened? Perhaps how much was raised or other items of interest – what would you like to read? >
<A sentence or two about how you are contributing to sustainability.>
<‘Learn more about our group at "[website, Facebook or ... ]" >
<Follow us at: https://sustainablesocial.org/<your-page-address>
<Up to five high-resolution images.>
<For further details about this article contact [name, email, phone] >
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