Getting media coverage and publicity can increase participation, better your chances of gaining sponsorships and put your sport in the spotlight!
Any event, as long as it’s newsworthy, has the possibility of attracting media attention. Local clubs looking to raise funds to support a new program or charity, rely on the media to get the message out to the local community and get them involved.
Example: The Lakemba Roos are a Sydney soccer team that has given refugees an opportunity to play sport. They were raising funds for uniforms and team registration to compete in the local league.
After contacting ABC radio, the club appeared in newspapers and online. As a result they received over $10,000 in donations that allowed them to fit out the entire team, buy new equipment and play in the local leagues.
So, how do you set up your event to attract media attention?
- Make sure your website and social media is always up to date and has all the current information for the media to contact you.
- Consider the right media for your event. It might be the local paper for a gala day or fundraiser. If it is a national event or supporting a bigger cause, outlets like the ABC Radio, NITV or even major newspapers might be interested.
TV, radio, and newspapers are still a big part of creating awareness, but always make sure your social media is active and updated at the same time!
- Set up a photo shoot with high-resolution photos or do interviews yourself on your phone and compile a package to send to the local paper, radio or television station. (Newspapers and online publications will request hi-resolution video or photos!)
- Write a media release that is clear, concise and captures the main key messages behind your event or cause. Make sure you have contact details and all important information is covered. Who, what, where, how, when, why?
- Be newsworthy! Journalists get flooded with requests for coverage. What makes your event something media want to share with their viewers? Find the hook and reason why you are hosting the event. Is your club helping the disadvantaged, are you building a women’s program, have one of your players achieved something remarkable?
- Make your objective clear – what do you want people to do?
Attend your event? Donate online? Do you need sponsors to help you to achieve your goal? Put the outcome of the event into focus, more attendance = greater exposure! Don’t leave them wondering “I’m here, now what?”
- Follow up! As we have mentioned, journalists get so many articles and stories – don’t let them forget about yours! 3-4 weeks out from your event send a follow-up email and get in touch with publishers on Facebook. Local newspapers, tv networks and radio are always on the hunt for content, as long as yours is newsworthy there’s no reason your event can’t appear in the paper!
- Be available! If you get a call from the media, make sure you are receptive and available for quotes. You only get one chance at getting the media to pay attention! Make an impact and develop a good relationship with your contact. You will need them again next time!
- Be prepared with quotes from the president or your spokesperson for when you are asked for them.
- Make your social media speak volumes. Use professional images for promotional flyers, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to give your organisation or club that professional feel. Be sure your credit the important people in your organisation, sponsors, event organisers and your photographers!
Update your photos and share your news articles after the event. Remind people how much fun they had, so that next year they will return and bring friends! Follow these steps to getting your event some media attention and watch your club grow.
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