Tis’ the season for pitching holiday cheer!






The holidays are in full swing and for many companies it is
the time of year to find ways to give to the less fortunate in the communities
that they live and do business in. What organizations often struggle with,
however, is how to go about sharing those stories with the general public.

 

What most do not know is that the holiday season is also a
time of year when the media is looking for good news stories to share with
their viewers. What a prime opportunity for local companies to share these
“feel good” stories with the community.

 

But, how do you let the local media know that your
organization is participating in such an event? There are a couple of ways.  

 

Send
out a media alert to the local newspapers and television stations inviting them
to cover your event. Whether it’s a blood drive, holiday party for a local
non-profit or spending an afternoon in a soup kitchen, find an interesting
angle to the story and pitch away. Make sure to include the details of the
event, such as the time; place and a media contact person. Make sure that you
have a great visual hook that would partner with the story for video or photo
coverage. And always make sure that you have approval from the people or the
organization benefiting from your generosity, so they know media may be
present.

 

You
can also take your own photos or video and submit them to the media or use them
in your social media efforts. Does your organization own a Flip camera or is it
easy to upload photos to your computer? Make sure to connect this footage to
your Web site, e-mail campaigns to customers or your social media accounts
often. Many media outlets also encourage you to submit photos with a caption
describing the event, which is likely to garner print or Web site coverage.

 

And
as always, make sure to think about the following tips for pitching the media,
no matter the time of year or event. Is the story timely and involve people in
the surrounding community? What is the visual piece attached to the story? Who
will be your spokespeople to talk on behalf of the company…and are they
prepared for the interview?

 

It’s
the most wonderful time of the year, and the media is looking for stories to
keep their viewers in bright spirits. Don’t let the opportunity of finding ways
to garner good news coverage pass you by. 

Written by

Karen Schlieve

With more than nine years of full-service agency PR experience, Karen Schlieve has worked with clients in a variety of industries including construction, health care, financial, education, non-profit, government, professional services and more. With a passion for a fast-paced work environment, she has successfully led numerous crisis communications projects including company embezzlements, environmental issues, labor disputes. Karen is a well rounded PR professional who excels in campaign research and planning, media relations and thinking strategically about a client's social media and online presence. Her attention to detail and determination are crucial in exceeding the goals of a PR program. Karen also has an uncanny ability to read a situation for what it is and make sound recommendations. As a graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Karen is on the board of directors for the Fox Valley Sibling Support Network. She also serves as the publicity chair of the Public Relations Society of America - Northeast Wisconsin Chapter and is involved with the Pulse Young Professionals Network marketing committee.

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