@NikkiReck, who is now the Public Information Officer for Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson, AZ, is also a former television journalist. She wrote a great Chew on This blog for us, all about relationships with the media. She will be monitoring this posting for any questions or comments you may have...When should you send a press release? Is a quick email better than a press release? Is there a best time to call? Do reporters even want to be called or email best?
And be sure to watch and bookmark this informative video Nikki made, all about building a relationship with reporters.
Hey y'all! So excited to answer your questions about working with media! As Kelly mentioned, I have experience "on the other side" so fire away!!
Great article @NikkiReck! Can you tell me more about news releases? How long should they be?
A good rule of thumb is no longer than one page. Sometimes people want to fill it with quote and "fluff"... don't. Get straight to the good stuff. News crews don't have time to sift through releases to find the details. I attached one example here!
Great information! We have Facebook & Instagram accounts but not Twitter. While I realize it’s an extra avenue for exposure, how important do you think it is in the grand scheme of things for a shelter? We have one media specialist and just keeping up with FB and IG can sometimes be a challenge.
Yes! Same here - we've been advised that media is more likely to pick up posts from our social than from news/media releases. Is this true? We aren't on Twitter though and only have FB and IG - we get some pick up but not as much as we'd like of course so wondering if I should push back and push out more releases.
Social media is a great place to get stuff seen. Sometimes it does better than news releases because of the feedback from the public you are getting. Example, you make a post about an event and it is blowing up with comments and shares... they will probably want to send someone. Or you post about a cute cat with a great story and it gets a ton of comments and shares... they will probably want to send someone to get video of the cat. Make sense?
Totally makes sense - do you feel this is a good tool in place of a news release though (i.e. for a case we want to get media traction on but might not be "blowing up" on social naturally ?). I'm being told most reports don't give a crap as much about the noise of media releases vs. what is popular in their SM feeds. Trying to figure out how to split the differnence on the two approaches or just boost my social to elevate better (focus there vs. drafting releases)
Depends honestly on the person, so I would still send both. Some folks are old school and still want a release.
I don't think it's a bad idea to be on Twitter, but I wouldn't stress too much about posting or gaining a large following. Most reporters are on twitter, so they may be more likely to come across it. And it's just easier to share (retweet) something on twitter. Which is not to say that just because you tweet something, means it will be seen, but you never know who may come across it. It's just another way to reach people.
Exactly! It's also easier to navigate. Facebook can get muddled. Twitter is a big easier to see the interactions and overall response.
Honestly, I would recommend using Twitter. Personally, when I was a reporter I used Twitter as a source for content gathering. It was simpler and easier to get to without the nonsense of Facebook. Many other reporters and media outlets are like this, too. It's just easier!
Thank you, Wendy!
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