This teleconference was about how to promote the Foundation Collection and how to talk to the media. The instructors were from Fenton Communications, a public relations firm that specializes in non-profits.
The press release is the standard form for new products or events which the media is used to receiving. The Foundation Center has templates that libraries can adapt for their own use. Here are some tips:
• Remember to think of your target audience and localize the information.
• Using a quotes about how the collection helps people is good. Press release authors often create a generic quote and submit it to the relevant person so that they can put it in their own words.
• Avoid jargon that members of the general public wouldn't understand.
• Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the best days to send out press releases.
• Don't send press releases as attachments or spam filters may block them.
• Calling a reporter and "pitching" a story to them makes it more likely that they will print it.
• Do research on which reporters cover similar stories.
• If you have public relations staff, approach them with an idea and they can refine it.
When speaking to the media, here are some things to remember:
• Write what you want to say first.
• Do a "practice interview" with staff.
• Be concise.
• If the interviewer goes on a tangent, bring the conversation back to what you want to talk about.
• Remember, you are providing a service and giving them important information.