Quick Tips

While the following tips will not guarantee that the media will cover your Safe Routes to School (SRTS) story, they can certainly up your odds. Use these basics of media relations to further develop the newsworthiness of your event or program.

  • Make sure you have something newsworthy to say. Your story should “hook” onto a newsworthy element, such as an existing national or state-level event or involvement of a local official or celebrity. Read more on developing your hook.
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    Think visually. Posters made by children or school mascots provide great visuals for the media, and they make photos of events more appealing.
  • Prepare for the media interview. Use talking points to ensure a consistent message about your program. Think ahead of time about people who might speak to the media for an interview – but make sure you discuss this with them beforehand.
  • Call a reporter or editor to talk about your program or event – just make sure you target someone who covers a beat related to SRTS (education, physical activity, local issues, etc.) For television, the best time to call is between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. so that you are not calling during peak news broadcast hours.
  • Position yourself as a resource. Make sure the media understands what kind of information you can provide them and make it a priority to answer requests when possible.
  • Keep the length of a news release or media advisory to one or two pages when drafting a news release or media advisory. Offer more detailed information on a Web site or through supplemental materials. It is important to include accurate and complete contact information.
  • Approach your local media to discuss opportunities for teaming up on the promotion of SRTS. Contact the community affairs department to discuss potential partnerships, such as public service announcements.
  • Visit http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/resources/index.cfm for template media materials and resources.