The subtitle for this post should be “How to Get in the News Without Losing Sleep!” It’s not uncommon to find increased media coverage in an association’s strategic plan. Despite the rise of social media and other customized news channels, the local newspaper and the evening news still captures the attention of thousands of readers and viewers every day. This is good news for association professionals because reporters have hours of airtime and inches of newsprint to fill with stories of interest while also sharing relevant stories on social media to their audience.
How can your association make headlines? Chances are the resources you need are as close as your member directory.
- Look for your data and trends
Find key statistics that can be shared with the media on a regular basis. At a builders association, we reported building permits from the city, county and region. This month over month number was an indicator of economic growth in the community and could be compared to national statistics. The press release included a quote with industry insights from association leadership and offered availability for live interviews. If possible, release information on the data and trends on a reoccurring schedule. This consistency helps build a relationship with journalists and puts your association on the schedule.
- Make sure your content is ready for primetime
A key factor in making headlines is being ready to respond to a request. In addition to gathering the facts of your story, be sure that you have supporting material at hand such as photos, video, and/or audio clips. A headshot of your association’s president won’t do much to illustrate your message or story. Think about photos and video that show action and engagement that will add quality content to the story.
- Utilize available resources
Take your media strategy one step beyond a press release and connect with reporters looking for experts on a specific topic. Help A Reporter Out is an online service where reporters post specific queries. The topics are wide-ranging but often related to current events or prompted by the calendar. There are paid subscription options, but a free registration delivers three emails each day with a summary of more than 50 reporter requests. You can also follow #URGHARO on Twitter to see urgent needs.
With a little thoughtful preparation and persistence, you will soon find your association making headlines for all the right reasons.