This year we were privileged to help the Australian War Memorial with media relations for its ANZAC Day program.
With thanks to the Memorial's communication team, here are 7 media tips from that experience:
- Even though an event is well known, it pays to work within specific campaign themes. This makes it easier to manage information, source images and video and identify spokespeople.
- Media relations efforts must tie-in with other marketing, sponsorship and internal communications plans. This ensures media impacts contribute to the broader goals of an organisation.
- Blogs can be a source of stories for journalists. Information on the War Memorial's blogs were picked up and carried into mainstream media for ANZAC Day and other campaigns. Links in media releases to blogs, wikis and on-line video (such as YouTube) can be valuable in guiding journalists to additional information.
- We may live in a global economy but the media still want local stories. Newspapers and radio stations are always looking for local (human interest) perspectives on national issues. The first question journalists often ask is what's the local angle?
- Approach TV producers prepared to talk in terms of images. Work with TV crews to provide the best visual opportunities and spokespersons. See this Channel Seven example.
- Maintain a media database so you can quickly see the details of journalists and details of interviews that have been set up. In a busy campaign this helps to keep track of who to call and what's happening day by day. And when the campaign finishes it can provide good evaluation data.
- Australian media have been reporting ANZAC Day for 92 years. Media outlets will want to report a continuing event differently each year. (See this ABC Radio's story on war time rationing). The key to continuing good media relations year after year, is to remain flexible and work with journalists to help them provide valuable information for their listeners, readers and viewers.