Aim: To explore how the BB can get positive publicity in the local media. Taken from the BB Seniors Challenge Plus Pro Pack, Life Skills Project L-5
Copies of your local newspapers
• Flipchart & pens
Taster 1 - Find A Good Story
Aim: To determine what makes an engaging news story in your local press.
Look through copies of your local newspaper and mark any stow that is of interest. Alternatively listen to your local radio station or watch your local television station and make a note of what stories capture your imagination.
• What attracted you to the story?
• What was special about it?
• Collect copies of your local newspaper(s)
• Download recordings of local radio station
• Record the local news from the TV
Taster 2 - How Good Are We ?
Aim: To improve your Company’s PR
Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing what information goes out from an organisation to the public in order to describe the organisation in the best possible light. PR is often tailored to suit different audiences that might be interested in the organisation. For example in the SB the message you might like to send out to young people may be different to that of adults. For an audience of young people you might like to show the range of exciting activities and opportunities that they might undertake, whereas to parents you might like to show how BB is a safe and trusted environment for their children to spend their time.
• How is your group perceived by different members of the community e.g. young people, parents, OAFs etc.?
• How do you know this is the case?
• Is this the message that you want to be hearing?
• What message do you want to communicate?
• What changes do you need to make to improve this perception?
• How could you go about changing this?
• How long would it take?
• Whose support would you need to make it happen?
- You could try and find out ways in which the Company has previously publicised itself.
Tips / Advice:
• Don’t be afraid to show what the BB is like today. Some people have a strong idea of what BB should be like, however remember it can come in all shapes and sizes.
• Be creative and target your audiences.
Taster 3 - Good News
Aim: To show yourself in a positive light
Young people often have a hard time in the press, and the actions of a minority tarnish all the great things that are done by lots of young people around the UFK and Ireland. Go through all the things that you do and come up with something that shows you in a good light. This doesn’t have to be complicated — sometimes the simple things work much better.
• Why did you choose this activity?
• Why would other people be interested in it?
• How could you communicate this message to others?
Tips / Advice:
• Remember — it has to be “positive”
Christian Faith - My Story
Aim: To share your own story
How we share something good and positive can affect how those around us react to that news. They may have a much clearer picture of what we do, learn something new, have a different perception and a greater understanding leading to wanting to know more. However there are ways and means to doing this. You wouldn’t promote the RB well with a grumpy face or by moaning about one of the activities, would you?
• What impact do you think your project has had on your BB Company?
• If you were to tell your story’ what would you want to say about yourself?
• What would you want to share?
• What place would God have?
• What impact do you think it would have?
Read John 1:41—42.
“The first thing he did after finding where Jesus lived was find his own brother, Simon, telling him, “We’ve found the Messiah” (that is, “Christ”.) The Message
• Why did Andrew go and find his brother?
• What got him so excited?
• Is it easy to share your story with other young people?
• Are other people interested in your story?
Tips / Advice:
• Be ready to use your story as an example.
• The An of Connecting is an excellent resource to equip young people sharing their faith. It runs over 7 weeks, will excite and encourage young people to examine their own story and journey with Jesus, to connect genuinely with their friends and their ‘stories,’ and throughout — to go deeper in their knowledge of God’s story. Go to .yft.co.uk for more information.
Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
Some members of the group may have issues that they are uncomfortable talking about in a group. Ensure that you respect their wishes but give everyone the space to talk if they wish.
Project - PR Campaign
Aim: To achieve positive publicity about your BB Company in your local press, on local radio or TV.
From the taster sessions you will have found out what makes an engaging story, how The Boys’ Brigade is perceived, and the type of story that you could communicate. Now go and put all this into action by getting some positive publicity in the local media, whether that is Through a newspaper, local radio or TV station. Create a prolonged campaign that will take into account different audiences, different media, and a message That your group is going strong!
• What message do you want to communicate? It might be easy to get publicity for an article about the history of your group, but if that doesn’t fit with your aims then you might be doing more harm than good.
• Is there a theme to your campaign e.g. new members?
• What different ways will you communicate this message?
• How will you keep up the momentum of the campaign?
• What time frame are you working to?
• Who is your target audience?
• What will be the best way to target them?
• Why will a media organisation want to run with your story?
• How will it stand out?
• Who is going to be involved?
• When is it going to happen? When will it have the greatest impact?
• Are there any cost implications?
• How will you measure the impact of the publicity?
Getting publicity isn’t difficult if you know what you’re doing. All you need to do is decide what you want to achieve, think up some story ideas, and then submit them to the media as press releases. However keep submitting idea after idea as publicity is a long-term game. Remember if at first you don’t succeed...
Here are a few top tips to get your story noticed:
• Be the first, the newest, the oldest, the biggest, the smallest
Different is great. Journalists get sent a constant stream of “average” all day long — so make sure your story stands out.
• By introducing something new or improved
Make it clear what’s better and why, and what benefits it is going to have.
• Mark the passage of time
Has it been a year, 5 years, 10 years or even 125 years since something significant happened?
• When you win an award
Send out your own publicity about the award.
• Re-launch your website
Tell journalists what’s good about your new site, and why?
• Do something In a different way
Particularly if it’s ‘always been done this way”, That’s what Richard Branson and Stelios do,
• Attempt to set or beat a record
A publicity classic, for a reason. Everyone loves a record attempt. And there are plenty of records to go for. Try to make your record relevant in some way to The Boys’ Brigade.
Tips / Advice:
Local newspaper journalists are sent dozens of news releases every day, so to get yours to stand out follow these tips:
• Ensure that the news angle is in the introduction to your press release. Remember: WHO. WHAT, WHY, WHEN, WHERE, HOW.
• Keep it short and simple but make sure that all the facts are there.
• As far as possible try to find the human-interest angle and back it up with a quote.
• Contact numbers should be included on the release if more information is required.
• If you are planning an announcement ensure that it meets the deadlines of the newspapers in your area.
Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
It isn’t true that all publicity is good publicity.
For full details see the BB Seniors Challenge Plus Pro Pack, Life Skills Project L-5