Kiwanis member Brooke Davis has five tips for getting your projects in the news.
By Erin Chandler
Your Kiwanis club is doing good throughout your community — but to have the greatest impact, you need to let your community know! Local print, TV and online media can increase attendance at your events, attract potential new club members and inspire other Kiwanis clubs looking for project ideas.
Want to raise your own media exposure? Brooke Davis has some insights for you. Based on her experience with the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos, New Mexico, U.S. — which consistently receives local publicity, appearing frequently in two online area newspapers — the suggestions below can help put your club in the community spotlight.
- Know your news outlets. Read, watch and listen to local news so you can get to know each outlet’s style and how it presents information. Davis partially attributes her club’s publicity success to its place in a close-knit community with two online newspapers, one of which publishes a weekly print edition. For each event, she must consider which outlet and medium will help her reach the largest possible audience — or just the right audience.
- Develop your messaging. Whether you are writing your own news release email for local publications or preparing to be interviewed, develop about three key, concise messages to convey, including the most important information about your event and the Kiwanis organization’s service focus. Find templates to help you write your key messages at “PR Tips and Tools” on the Kiwanis Branding and Marketing page.
- Establish a relationship with local journalists. Davis advises clubs in smaller communities to contact the editors of their community publications directly. “In a small town, editors are usually eager to share stories about community members and organizations and their activities,” she says. If you live in a larger community, contact a reporter who covers stories involving children, philanthropy, education or service. Look for information on individual reporters and their contact details on the news outlet’s website or the reporter’s social media.
- Offer to provide photos. “I realized early on that the editors really want photos of our speakers and activities and events,” Davis says. “I try to take enough photos so I can send different ones to each paper.” Photos of your club in action are best!
- Remember to say, “thank you.” As part of building rapport with editors and journalists, Davis makes a point of thanking them for any coverage the club receives. A little courtesy goes a long way — especially for maintaining relationships as you look toward publicizing your next event or project.
Looking for more tips, tools and resources? Check out the Kiwanis Branding and Marketing page.