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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

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Generate positive publicity about BB

Friday 17th February 2017

How good is your BB Company’s PR? Does the local community know the range of activities you provide, or do people not really know what the BB has to offer?

Public Relations is important as it helps ensure that the wider public gets to hear positive stories about the organisation and gains a much better idea of the work it does. Word of mouth can be a really effective tool, but using the likes of newspapers, local radio, websites and social media make it possible for a great BB news story to reach a new and wider audience.

What makes a good story?

Naturally your programme will be full of good news stories – whether it’s becoming Battalion football champions, or an individual achieving their Queen’s Badge. People love to hear about other people, so communicating a message about an event, experience or accomplishment and why it mattered to them is almost always very compelling. Ask yourself what makes the story stand out – for example, “1st Felden wins Badminton Trophy” isn’t quite as exciting as “1st Felden wins Badminton Trophy for first time in ten years”.

Who are you telling your story to?

If you’re posting an update online, or sending a press release to the local radio station, think about who you are aiming your story at. Is it other young people, or perhaps parents & carers? Whatever your target audience, that will probably affect which medium you opt to use. Some groups of people would be more likely to find out about something on Twitter, rather than from the local newspaper. Will your audience understand BB terminology? If the answer’s no, then consider what changes you need to make.

Sending out a press release:

These are short notices to inform newspapers and broadcasters what the latest news is. You can find plenty of press release templates online, but the main things to remember are:

  • Who, What, Where, Why and When
  • Include a photograph which adds value to your story
  • Be creative and know your audience
  • Include a quote or two
  • Don’t be too long!
  • Includes contact details, such as email address and website

You can find a range of press release templates available to download at leaders.boys-brigade.org.uk/pressreleases.htm

Next steps…

Video is increasingly being used as a tool to share good news stories. For example, a separate project could be to make a short film to:

  • Capture a DofE Gold Expedition
  • Promote your BB company
  • Your journey to the finals of a competition

Social Media – Is your Company already on Social Media? Going online and making use of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will certainly give more visibility to your Company in the local community. It can act as a really great way of telling your story week in week out, sharing what you do as a Company. When considering using social media please refer to our guidance at leaders.boys-brigade.org.uk/facebookguidance.pdf

Newsletters/Magazines – Many Companies produce a regular newsletter and magazine to highlight the various exciting news and events during the BB session. Is this something your Seniors could take the lead on?

Visits – Why not get in touch with your local newspaper or broadcaster to arrange a closer look into what makes the news?

A few points to consider:

When sharing video, photos or stories of people, it’s important that parental consent has been given.

Always get approval from your Company Captain or setup a process which you follow to check that you’re story is on message before publishing – remember that you’ll be representing both your Company and Church.

Importantly, be creative, sound like a human and have fun!

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