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Publicizing Your Activities

Make sure your event has an impact beyond the people who attend. Informing the community and the media fosters awareness and encourages people to get involved in future projects. Getting the word out about what you have accomplished should not take a tremendous amount of work, just careful thought.

Create a media plan that is reasonable, and do as much work as possible beforehand. Remember that you are more likely to get coverage if you make it easy for a reporter to do a story.

Before

Use your contacts. If a member of your planning team handles media for his or her organization (or knows someone who does), see if that person can assist with formulating and executing your media activities.

Write a press release. Make sure the release shows the relevance of your event to the community. Include one or more interesting, brief quotes from students, parents, teachers, school leaders, etc. Include small community newspapers, radio stations, and locally oriented website in the list of places you contact.

Follow up the press release with a phone call. Media outlets receive countless press releases every day. Calling the appropriate reporter and pitching the story can help tremendously.

During

Take photos. Have a camera at the event so that you can send selected photos to newspapers. Take digital photos that show people in action and that show students, participants, and guests interacting with one another. Be careful not to distribute photos of students whose parents did not give permission at the start of the school year (unless the parent is on site at the time and agrees).

After

Reach out to media columnists. Identify newspaper columnists who have shown an interest in education issues. Even if they do not attend, follow up to let them know what you accomplished with your event.

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