Section 8: Get your RHSV in the Media
Engaging local media in covering your upcoming visit plays an important role in boosting community enthusiasm, provides free advertising, and is a great tool for promoting interest in your workshop and enhancing the profile of health careers in the wider community.
Contact local newspapers, radio and television stations in advance to find out who is best to contact for your media release, and discuss the story as well as the details of deadlines, photoshoots and interviews. Reach out to any locals for tips on platforms outside of mainstream media that might be particularly effective in your specific community (e.g. local Facebook pages and groups, popular community noticeboards).
Media outlets in rural communities are often very helpful and eager to cover your visit. Be sure to treat them with courtesy and thank them for their coverage, building a good relationship that you can draw on for future visits.
Some tips for your media release:
- Send the release one week prior to your visit
- Make it interesting and newsworthy with an eye-catching heading (six words or less)
- Be factual, succinct and write in the third person
- Include quotes (from someone happy to be interviewed for further information)
- Mention your RHC name near the beginning – no acronyms
- Keep paragraphs short (two sentences) conveying the most important information first – the story may be trimmed from the bottom up when going to print
- Format clearly (size 12, 1.5 line spacing, no underlining, one page maximum)
- Provide names and contact details of two people who can be contacted at the end
See appendix 5 for a media release template you can use for your RHSV.
Advice for radio and television interviews:
- Have three or four key points in mind that you want to convey
- Rehearse these talking points aloud beforehand
- Anticipate questions you’ll be asked and consider your answers
- Be dynamic – avoid monotone and long-winded answers
- Don’t comment on matters you do not want to or on topics you do not have a good understanding of - just stick to your positive message
- Be yourself and let your passion for the project shine through.