Publicising your activities
It’s important to let your community and those outside your community know about what you are doing or what is being planned over the coming months.
If you are get funding, the funder should let you know the steps you need to take to keep them informed of your progress.
Not communicating with your funder will have consequences, so you’re best to get it right from the start. If you don’t get it right you risk your funder requesting the return of your funding and/or you may lower your chance of securing funding in the future.
The funders are always keen to work partnership and that means you have to be a willing partner.
Here’s some tips to consider when communicating with your funder:
- When people read newspapers they do not read everything. They scan through, then read the beginning of a story. If they are interested they will carry on reading. If not, they will skip to the next story.
- Complete your evaluation in the form they need and on time.
- Get in touch with your funding officer as soon as an issue arises.
- Ensure you have the right logos and information in relation to your funder. Check the terms and conditions of your grant regarding this.
- Link to your funder in the appropriate notices and information regarding their funding using your online presence.
It is also useful to send through copies of press releases that have been published.
Here’s some tips to consider when writing a press release:
- Complete monitoring forms and return them on time. This will be a requirement of your funding, failure to do so may result your funding being frozen or withdrawn.
- To grab their attention, you need to put the key information in your opening paragraph. You can do this by using the “Five W’s”.
- Who will be doing it?
- What will they be doing?
- When will they be doing it?
- Where will they be doing it?
- Why will they be doing it?
When writing the full press release:
- Keep it simple, and concentrate on the main points.
- Keep it brief – one A4 sheet is best.
- Keep it waffle free. Try to write sentences of no more than 10 words, and only put one idea in each sentence.
- Use everyday, plain language. Don’t use technical words or abbreviations.
- Use direct language – e.g. ‘Jane Murphy said’ not ‘the meeting was then addressed by Jane Murphy’.
- Make sure your story is about people – how will people benefit from what you are doing.
- Include a quote from a named person. Quotes can make you release a lot more personal and local. Make sure you have covered the “Five W’s” before you put in the quote.
- Make it active. ‘The petition will be presented to the local councillor …’ instead of: ‘It is hoped that when we have sufficient names on our petition we will be able to arrange to present it to our local councillor.
- Work on your angle. Why will local people be interested in your story.
- Check that your facts are right. If you aren’t sure – check again.
- Always give a name and contact number for followup enquiries. Make sure someone will be available in the evenings as well as daytimes to take calls from the media for more information.
- At the bottom of the news release give details of any photo opportunities with times and places. Ask them to come when your event will look its best, or when most people will be there.
- If you want to include some background information put it right at the end of the news release with the heading ‘Notes for Editors.’
- When you have written your news release, have a break, then read it again. Have you put the most important information in the first paragraph? Have you got a snappy heading? Is it clear and easy to read?
- Ask somebody to check and proofread your news release to make sure it is clear and doesn’t have any grammatical or spelling mistakes.