Friday, June 24, 2005

Media Exposure for Non-Profit Organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area

The following are notes that I took at the The Silicon Valley Radio and Television Public Affairs Directors and BAYPAD (Bay-Pad) Bi-annual Media Workshop on securing News and Public Affairs coverage, from 9:30 A-M to 12 Noon, on Wednesday, June 8th, in the Community Room of San Jose Martin Luther King Junior and San Jose State University Main Library.

Note that there were a number of media organizations represented; not all tips apply across all media organizations. Be sure to check with each media outlet for details.

A warm thank you goes to Rosana Madrigal and Empire Broadcasting for inviting my wife (and by extension me) to this very informative event. I would also like to thank Ms. Madrigal for inviting me to record a public service announcement for airing on radio station KLIV for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley, Inc..

  • Useful contacts: Click community, then go to media access guide (60 stations listed here, not just KRON).

  • South Bay reporter for Channel 7 Erik Rosales of ABC cell 415-672-9139, email Erik.Rosales*AT*
Event Coverage by the News Media
  • Give map and directions to event.

  • How many people are expected?

  • Have someone at event looking out for media.

  • Have event between 10am-3pm for 5pm, 6pm, 11pm news.

  • Reserve parking for media.

  • TV is about show and tell using images, so consider visuals.

  • Have people ready to give a personal story.

    • Have someone that has been affected by the organization.

    • For example, at event for cancer, lady said in 15 seconds how American Cancer Society helped her and her daughter.

    • Try to find a hook, a person that can tell a story to one person. Imagine talking to on person when talking to the radio microphone or TV camera.

    • Having a personal story helps reporters sell the story to producers.

    • For different language news media, have person who speaks in language of media outlet available.

    • Prefer to have other people available besides the top person or the spokesperson.

    • For minors, make sure adults consent, and ideally, are there.

    • More than one person is helpful, so that all stations aren’t lined up for the same person.

    • Try to pick people who would come across well on TV.
Press Releases
  • Give phone number that will always be answered: cell phone.

  • Current contact names, cell phone number.

  • Send press releases via fax and email, then follow up with a call.

  • Also send to PR newswire services.

  • Call day before event. Call in morning better. On weekdays during business hours best.

  • Channel 7 So. Bay Bureau is not staffed during the weekend.

  • Send press releases to bureau in area, not main office (e.g. for Channel 7, send to the South Bay bureau, not San Francisco).

  • Not only events but also human interest stories are good.

  • Put on press release that you have video if you have it, since the news stations like it. If you video of the event when it happened, video regarding the subject, etc.

  • Bay City News 415-552-8900. Puts out calendar every day, also a week in advance. Fax to Bay City News in San Francisco. Associated Press is used less often, they tend to PR News Wire is sometimes used, but more for business.

  • One page press release.

  • Add pictures to second page of press release if useful.

  • Don’t do attachments to emails.

  • Give as much lead time as possible.

  • See Empire Broadcasting handout for sample press release.

  • News release at least one week in advance.
Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
  • PSAs are not to beg for money. Ask for support, direct to website.

  • PSA four weeks in advance.

  • PSA announcements should be tailored to demographics of listeners.

  • TFN means “Till Further Notice”.

  • Only one PSA will be run at a time.

  • For different language news media, have person who speaks in language of media outlet available.
How to produce a PSA for TV by Making Your Own

(Many said that it is not a good idea for non-profits to spend limited resources on audio-visual equipment to produce a PSA that broadcast stations wouldn't air due to poor quality)
  • Buy a digital camera for $800-$1000, plus $200 for a separate microphone (built in microphone not good enough). Tripod for $60 or $70. $25 work lights at Home Depot. Headphones.

  • Never shoot into the sun. Do not shoot in really bright areas or really dark areas.

  • To even out light, use white cardboard to reflect light. Pizza box will work!
    Traffic, construction, airplanes. Use cheap headphones ($3) to hear what is being recorded.

  • On Mac, use free iMovie; for PC use Avid, Adobe’s Premiere, etc. to edit video.

  • Make sure that if you’re on a budget that the PSA idea can be done within budget.

  • Needs to be transferred to Beta (can be done for $15 per copy by dubbing house), make special note to media if you need it returned. Yellow pages video duplication house.

  • Local schools and 501c3 charities can request electronic equipment donations from Sony Electronics Inc. [If you are interested please contact me, Richard Upton, for more information.]

  • Post-news Releases
  • Post-news releases are good too, talking about the success of the event.

  • If sending on Friday but news is on Monday, put “Embargo until Monday”.

  • If you have an angle on current events, contact media. (e.g. Terry Schiavo case, Stanford contacted news saying had doctor which had opinion on subject).
Media sponsorships can include
  • Web site links

  • Providing an emcee

  • PSA
Radio features
  • KLIV does daily feature about organizations. Contact Rosana Madrigal.
    Need to add KNTV 11’s handout for bullet points regarding what needs to be covered.
  • Sponsorships 2 to 3 months in advance, weeks in advance for others.

    • vhernandez*AT*

    • prodriguez*AT*

  • Fax/emails can be in English, but PSAs must be in Spanish. Interviews are best in Spanish, but can have voiceovers.
  • No faxes for these, they use email only:

    • harryo*AT* Infinity San Francisco incl. Alice, Live105, and ? Three stations, soon more, for public service announcements for Live105 and other stations.

    • kcbsnews*AT* KCBS prefers calendar events (as opposed to general “support us” announcements) Can send MP3 recorded file.

  • Music stations don’t do news, unless there is a music angle for free tickets.

  • Forget about snail mail.

  • Alice and Live 105 will take text copy and produce PSA for audio. PSA may not get on radio, but could show up on web site.
KFOG, KNBR, and ?
  • Don’t send only 2 days in advance, send earlier.

  • Gimmy Park Li does 30 minute in depth radio programs. Gimmy can squeeze a PSA into 10 seconds.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for informative site - our working women's organization will be much strengthened by these good tips.