How to promote your stories
So much communication today is online and means there are many opportunities for cost-effective and powerful communications. Websites and social media channels are a great way to promote your creative space, artists, events and activities.
However, it's also important to use a variety of communication channels (e.g. emails, phones, posters, community noticeboards) to reach your audiences: some people may not have access to the internet or may not feel comfortable using the internet or social media.
Word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing, promotional tools available to you. Including the text "Please spread the word" or "Please share this post" is a good way to remind people about passing on your information.
Think outside the box and reach out to your community (e.g. whanau, family, disability or community organisations) and ask them to promote your stories online. Or what about printing copies of your story (with colourful images), and asking your local café to leave on tables or post on their noticeboard?
If you’re posting about your website story on social media, always include a photo or video, plus a link so people can read the full story.
Mainstream media includes newspapers, magazines, radio stations and televisions. They have traditional outlets (print, TV sets and radios) as well as an online presence via websites and social media channels.
A story in your local newspaper (e.g. The Nelson Mail, The Dominion Post, the North Shore Times) will also be posted online (e.g. Stuff, the NZ Herald).
So do you have a newsworthy story? How do you go about pitching it to mainstream media? Here are some suggestions:
- Create a targeted media list and find the best reporters to approach: e.g. arts reporter, chief reporter, someone who has already covered the topic and/or is interested in your creative space and what you do
- Create a media strategy/action plan. What media are you going to approach; are your offering an exclusive; is it embargoed; who will your spokesperson be? Are they articulate and confident about speaking to the media?
- Find the news angle/s and write an appealing pitch. For television, think about possible video content you can offer.
- Email your pitch to the reporter and follow up with a phone call. A follow-up phone call is vital: reporters are busy with daily deadlines to meet so a phone call may prompt them.
- If you’re successful, support the spokesperson to do the interview by providing background information and a few key messages. Attend the interview with them if they want support.