Have you ever seen a school on the news and thought, “We do send our press releases to the media for the same type of event, but they don’t pick it up.” If you follow our advice below, you will see dramatic changes in attracting news coverage for your school.
The good news is that your school can be on the news. In fact, all schools can attract media coverage at least several times throughout the school year. Keep that in mind. The media is interested in what is happening in the institutions that are educating our little ones.
To start getting press for your school’s activities, you need to convince the news editor that your otherwise mundane event is newsworthy. And the best way to do that is to write your media advisory so it sounds like a news report. A media advisory is a one-page document formatted as “who, what, when, where, why, and background information.”
Pay special care to the “what” section. Write that as if the news anchor were reading your story. The closer you get to packaging a finished story, the closer you are to getting media coverage. Watch the evening news or go on YouTube to view a few clips if you need guidance on what news anchors sound like. When anchors cover a school, chances are, the news writers took the copy right from the media advisories. So it’s important to package your media advisory to sound like the finished product.
The “Background” subhead is important as it represents an opportunity to tie the event into your school’s mission or to a message you need to convey. For example, if a robotics club is having a competition, share how that event fits into your school’s reason for existing, even though a club might have nothing to do with the curriculum. For example, “the event demonstrates Brightfield Middle School’s commitment to S.T.E.M. education and is aligned with the Arkanasas Department of Education’s goal of graduating students who are college and career-ready.” Not only will you get a great PR hit for your school’s image, but you will also promote one of your school’s important message points. You will also promote the school’s name recognition while showing taxpayer money being used wisely.
Done right, your PR hits will yield multiple benefits each time.