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Sharing the BB story

Thursday 13th February 2014

Development and PR Officer in Scotland, Niall Rolland, shares his thoughts on how we can go about sharing the BB story more effectively.

Every organisation, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success.

Many of the people we come into contact with in our work, such as journalists, Churches, local authorities and funders, can all have a powerful impact. They all have an opinion about the organisations they come into contact with - whether good or bad, right or wrong. These perceptions will drive their decisions about whether they want to work with, engage and support these organisations.

The Boys’ Brigade is no different. Reputation can be our biggest asset – the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd and gives you the edge. PR can help manage reputation by communicating and building good relationships with journalists and the wider public – it can drive what people would term ‘good publicity.’

Great work happens at Company, Battalion and at Regional level week-in, week-out. Young people’s achievements, fundraising events, international projects and residential activities are only some of the examples. But how can we ensure that the countless positive stories about BB young people are receiving the attention they deserve?

As we hope to shout about BB work, we should remember that there is a great deal to be positive about, such as our networks of volunteers and extensive experience leading youth work.

You will sometimes have a really good story which might not get the coverage you hoped for but, it is important not to be disheartened. Other news and events might mean there is limited space in the publication.

More often, newspapers are relying on covering stories online rather than print. It is never a bad idea to enquire why your story did not get picked up, as you might just have missed a trick that will make the difference next time.

Remember that whilst the story might not be something new or different in the BB world, it does not mean it will not be of interest to the wider community. The Boys’ Brigade has produced a guide to support you with PR, including templates and also advice about taking the best photos.

Some tips for getting coverage for your BB news story or event

  • Contact local newspaper, but also see what online news sites are available too .
  • Keep a press release short and to the point.
  • Make sure you include:
    • Key details (who, what, where, why and when etc.)
    • Quote(s) from BB leader/guest/young person
    • Notes to editors (important details about BB which aren’t in the story)
    • Good quality photo and names (ensure that you have permission to use these)
  • Contacting local journalists can sometimes be tricky.  If you don’t get a response to an email, try phoning the news desk (Best avoid 4pm on afternoon before publication, though!)
  • Consider other ways to highlight your story, such as using the social media or platforms like YouTube or Vimeo to tell the story.
  • Speak to your local newspaper about a regular
  • ‘BB column’?
  • Consider what makes the story interesting – is there a human story? What could engage a non-BB audience?

Download the PR guide from boys-brigade.org.uk/prguide.pdf

 

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