Working with The Media

 

Just as manufacturers market their products, Rotary club members must sell stories to the media. Understanding the media will help you market Rotary's message successfully.  

1  Identify your target media.  Consider inviting a local journalist to speak to your club about how to work with the media.

2  Develop a media list. After identifying media targets, put together a contact list for each story that includes the names, phone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses of journalists, editors, or news directors who might take a special interest in Rotary.

3  Contact journalists. You can take your story to the media in several ways. Whatever approach you choose, be persuasive, persistent, and friendly, but not aggressive. The most effective methods correspond to the journalist's preferences.

4  Conduct interviews. Work with your club to develop informed, articulate spokespeople who are easily accessible and well versed in Rotary's programs.

5  Do not be afraid to pay for promotion of your events. Many media outlets will often match or supplement your purchase of space and air time.  If you have done your homework and made relationships with your media outlets this can significantly increase the exposure of you event and Rotary. 

6  Manage crises.  Despite your best efforts, problems of a sensitive nature may develop. Be forthcoming if a reporter calls, but avoid initiating contact with the media about unflattering stories. If a situation arises that you think requires immediate attention, contact Rotary International before you speak with the media (phone: 847-866-3237; e-mail: pr@rotary.org ).

Promoting the RI president's visit

Trying to promote the RI president's visit to your area in the local media? Refer to the president's pages for resources.

Purchase "Effective Public Relations: A Guide for Rotary Clubs" ($3.00) for a complete overview of working with the media.

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