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Media relations

STEP 3 : External Strategy

Developing relations with journalists is very useful to get what is called a "media coverage" that will help your organisation or project be know by a largest audience, but also by potential partners and supporters.

Although very useful, media relations management may quickly become time-consuming and frustrating. Journalists are often overloaded with press releases and information of all kind. Here are some tips to get started with media.

3 main points:

  1. Focus your efforts
  2. Get (straight) to the point
  3. Don’t be shy

Focus your efforts

All journalists won’t be interested in your topic. You can start with looking for local journalists and media specialized in your issues. There is no point getting 3,000 e-mail contacts which will never lead you anywhere. You’d better have 100 interested ones!

You may find their contact information on the Internet, thanks to your relations,...

This is always better to get a personal contact than a general e-mail address.

Get (straight) to the point

Journalists receive huge amounts of e-mails everyday, and they obviously have to make a selection.

To maximize the chances for your e-mail to be open:

  1. Make sure you are sending it to the right person (a journalist in charge of the cultural agenda will not read an e-mail about energy);
  2. Write a clear and concise subject line. Be specific but not too wordy.
    Use keywords.
    Ex: "Subject: Official Launch [country] Alliance for Local Energy"

Then, your message itself must follow some basic rules:

  • One e-mail = one subject (do not mix up different topics);
  • You can make an introduction with linking your information with a recent event/burning issue;
  • State your purpose in the first sentence or two and then get to the why and how of the matter;
  • Request further action. An example would be: ’I will call you on Wednesday 10am to discuss this’ or ’When can we get this done?’. Otherwise, nothing is likely to happen;
  • Proof your e-mail! Check the spelling and grammar.

Don’t be shy

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with journalists, reviews, newspapers -and so on- who could be interested in your topic.

Be patient if you need an answer, you may also pick up the phone and call them directly.

You believe in your project, so let them know why it is interesting and relevant for them to talk about it.

More...

You may use several tools to communicate with journalists : basic e-mails, press releases (for one special event) and press kits (for introducing your organisation/project).

Find here some tips to create a good press release and a good press kit. (These are just examples, you can find lots of similar articles on the Internet.)

Source: http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/10-golden-rules-writing-perfect-email-160700740.html

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Project coordinated by Energy Cities,Supported by Intelligent Energy – Europe: for a sustainable future and ADEME