Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is intended for guidance only. It is not a substitute for professional advice and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting upon it.
Working with the media

Media Interviews

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:

Challenging Misinformation in the Media

MediaWise has produced this factsheet about making complaints about journalism and has lots of information about complaining here. 

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.

Links

City of Sanctuary factsheet on 'Preparing for an interview'

'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'

Ofcom - See particularly this section on 'Making a Complaint'

Social media

Social media is an easy way to get new supporters and to keep your supporters up-to-date with what you're up to.

Facebook

  • 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

Twitter

  • Good for quick updates eg. to say you're at an event
  • Good for addressing specific individuals or organisations

Links

'Raising your profile on social media' from the Media Trust

Using Twitter

Resources from The Media Trust

Using Facebook

Facebook's page for Non-profits

'10 ways to improve your charity's Facebook page' from JustGiving

Newsletters and mailing lists

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. 

Links

'How to produce a newsletter' from NCVO

MailChimp Knowledge Base

Hate Speech Online

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.