Your Partnership and the Media - Where You Should Mention Your Partnership in the Media

As has been demonstrated through the Your Partnership and the Media Community Business Partnership Help Sheet series at the partnerships Brokerage Service section of the Our Community website, the media can be a useful ally when it comes to publicising your partnership and its activities.

And while the best way to publicise your partnership is through what is called a "hard news" story in the editorial section of the paper, or in the news section of television and radio bulletins, there are other methods you can use to get your community business partnership some publicity.

Ways to get Your Partnership Mentioned in the Media

  • Advertisements. Sometimes, paying for an advertisement may be the only way to give your partnership some publicity – for example, if you only want to thank your partnership partner and there is no particular story for journalists to report.
    • That advertising may consist of
      • A small classified-style or line ad in a newspaper.
      • A bigger display or feature advertisement in a newspaper, or
      • A quick half-minute ad on radio or, less likely, TV.
    • These ads can be costly, although your local newspaper may be able to offer advertising rates that are not too expensive.
    • However, if you do believe that your partnership's latest activities are worth reporting, see if you can press the issue (without making a pest of yourself) with reporters.

  • "What's On" or Community Listings columns. Many local or community newspapers – as well as some larger ones, and even some community TV stations – have free community listings sections that are used by many community groups, clubs, organisations and not-for-profit groups to publicise an upcoming event or meeting.
    • These community listings can be great to keep your partnership's name in print as well as publicise coming events that may not be worth a larger story by themselves.
    • If considering using the community listings column, make sure you
      • Keep your listing basic – mention as many of "who", "what", "when", "where", "why" and "how" as necessary. Remember to put correct contact details on the listing as well.
      • Stick to the rules – most of these columns have word limits or preferences on style. Check with the newspaper before sending you notice through.

  • Feature stories. Feature pieces are usually "softer" stories which aim to complement "hard news" and add colour and life to the newspaper. Usually they are topical and can provide good coverage of a community business partnership, its activities and plans.
    • Feature stories often need a "hook" or central theme which they are written around. For a partnership, that may mean an upcoming event, an anniversary or something else.
    • If pitching a feature story idea to a newspaper:
      • Have a "hook" or two in mind.
      • Be willing to be interviewed, possibly at length, and
      • Be willing to organise an interesting photo opportunity.

  • Pictures. An interesting or striking picture of your partnership at work can be worth more than any newspaper article in terms of publicity, while a bad one can be publicity death.
    • If you are approached for a picture opportunity, or are chasing one on TV or in the newspaper for your partnership:
      • Make it interesting.
      • Get partnership members from both business and community group involved, and
      • Think about having a strategically placed sign or banner, advertising your partnership, ready for use in the photo if appropriate.
    • Finally, under no circumstances organise a cheque handover or presentation for a picture opportunity. In many television and newspaper newsrooms these are treated as poison and avoided at all costs.

  • Interviews. Interviews go hand-in-hand either with stories in the newspaper or reports on radio or TV.
    • In an interview, remember to be:
      • Clear and concise.
      • Prepare and use some good soundbites or quotes which are attractive to the media.
      • Mention everyone involved in the partnership, as well as the projects you are undertaking and what you've achieved.
    • Tips on speaking with the media can be found in a number of the "Your Partnership and the Media" Help Sheets from the Our Community website.

For more information on mentioning your partnership in areas other than the media, refer to the Brokerage Service's Namedropping Help Sheet.