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Involving the media

Involving the media


Using the media correctly is vital to any campaign.  If you get it right it can make a huge impact on whether your campaign will be successful or not. 


Writing a press release


The first step is to write a press release which can be sent to journalists about the campaign.  Make sure you include:

  • Details of upcoming events
  • Quotes from people involved in the campaign
  • Contact details so that journalists can get in touch with you if they need any further information.


ENABLE Scotland can help you to write a press release.  Contact ENABLE Direct for more information.


What will make a journalist take notice?


Your story is most likely to be picked up by a journalist if it is about something new and interesting.  If an important person is involved, such as an MP, this can also help improve your chances of getting the story printed.  


You may want to link your press release to other events, like Learning Disability Week or Carers Rights Day, or to something that is happening nationally or that another organisation is doing. 


If you are giving your story to the local press make sure that your story contains information about a local issue. 


Who to contact


Most areas have daily and weekly newspapers, local independent radio stations and regional BBC radio and television stations.  Here are some options to consider:

  • Free weekly newspapers are good to target because they have good circulations and are likely to cover your story.  For the best results, contact them on the day of publication or the day after.
  • Daily newspapers are harder to get coverage in, so you need to be more creative about how you approach them.  Often they will be more likely to publish your story if it is linked to other stories which have been in the press recently.
  • Radio can be a good way to get exposure – but be prepared to appear on air.  Contact the radio station at least 24 hours before you want your story on the radio.
  • Television can be wide reaching but you must make sure your story has a visual element that the journalist will be able to film.  You should contact the news desk at a television station at least a week in advance.
  • Monthly magazines can also be a useful tool.


You will find contact details for your local papers online or in the Yellow Pages.  If you don’t have a named person in mind, call the publication and ask to speak to the news desk.  Explain to the journalist why you are calling and ask for contact details.  Journalists prefer to receive press releases by email.  You should also send a relevant photograph – as this will make it a more attractive story for the journalist.


Interview preparation


Journalists may wish to interview you to find out more about your story.  Before the interview find out:

  • Where it will be?
  • Who will ask the questions?
  • If it is for TV or radio – will it be broadcast live or recorded?


Before the interview think about what you want to say and how you want to say it.  Consider what the journalist might ask you and practice some answers.

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