Groups are often asked to take part in interviews, particularly for radio or newspapers. This can be a good opportunity to reach wider audiences but does present challenges and thorough preparation is essential. Some tips:
- Find out what specific topics will be covered in the interview and if its possible for you to see the questions beforehand
- Decide your key messges and bring them with you written down - there are some examples here or for key statements about City of Sanctuary, see our 'About' section
- Have some relevant facts and statistics available
- Read our factsheet below on 'Preparing for an interview'
MediaWise have some useful resources on dealing with the media, including advice around the risks of 'selling your story' to the media.
Positive Media Coverage
Getting positive stories covered by newspapers, radio or TV is a great way to counter-balance negative media coverage but it can be challenging to make your story attractive to outlets. Here are some suggestions:
- Build connections with local journalists
- To get a piece in a newspaper, on TV or on the radio, you story needs to be 'newsworthy' - relevant, timely, significant or interesting to the audience (see resources below from the Media Trust)
Some examples of positive media coverage:
- 'City of Sanctuary: Bristol rallies to help refugees as aid network swells' in the Guardian
- 'Leeds families donate 100,000 items for Syrian refugee aid convoy' in the Yorkshire Evening Post
Challenging Misinformation in the Media
If you see inaccurate, misleading or discriminatory content in the media, you can make a complaint.
- For a newspaper or magazine, write to the Editor. If they take more than a week to respond or you are not happy with their response, you can complain to the IPSO (Independent Press Standards Organisation) - see links section below
- For television or radio, contact the broadcaster or Ofcom - see links section below
Be sure to include the details of the specific piece you are complaining about.
'Writing a press release' from the Media Trust
'Get coverage in local and regional media' from the Media Trust
IPSO (Independent Press Standards Organisations) - See particularly this section on 'Making a Complaint'
Social media is an easy way to get new supporters and to keep your supporters up-to-date with what you're up to.
- Good for organising and publicising events
- Good for sharing content from other organisations
- It is recommended that you post no more than 4 times a week or your posts will appear less frequently in your followers' timelines
- Good for quick updates eg. to say you're at an event
- Good for addressing specific individuals or organisations
'Raising your profile on social media' from the Media Trust
'10 ways to improve your charity's Facebook page' from JustGiving
Keeping in touch with your supporters is likely to be an important element of your group's activities. Sending out a regular newsletter is one way of keeping in touch. How to make your newsletter successful:
- Make it regular - once a month is a good bench-mark
- Use a catchy subject line
- Think about format - headings, columns and text boxes will help break up content
- Pictures will help make your newsletter eye catching and will break up text (make sure you have permission to use the pictures!)
- Make it interesting - what can you offer your supporters that they'll find interesting or useful?
We use MailChimp to manage our mailing lists and send out our monthly newsletter. It is free up to 2000 subscribers.
'How to produce a newsletter' from NCVO
The Light On project has produced 'Spot Racism Online: A Practical Guide' which provides some definitions of hate speech, explains what is legal and what isn't and provides information about how to report hate speech.