[NLA] How to Work Effectively with the Media
tsticht at aznet.net
Fri Dec 28 16:15:10 EST 2001
David asked about media experiences in the U. S. or other countries. I
have some thoughts based on my recent experiences working in the United
Kingdom and New Zealand. In each case I was scheduled as a keynote
speaker to help bring particular messages to the attention of the media
in national campaigns.
In the UK, I was scheduled by the Basic Skills Agency (BSA) to give a
keynote speech on returns to investment in adult basic skills education
at a special media event that the BSA arranged to call attention to the
launch of the new Wales National Literacy Strategy. In setting up the
event, the BSA hired a special public relations person who had worked in
the media. They invited representatives from TV, radio and the press to
attend an evening affair at which I spoke, then Alan Wells, Director of
the BSA spoke, and then a panel of four media reps discussed what they
had heard and how the media might bring attention to the launch and
continuation of the new literacy strategy. Afterwards, a buffet with a
wide assortment of food, wine, juice and bottled water was served. Im
not certain how extensive the coverage of the launch of the literacy
initiative has been since then (Dec. 5th) but I do know that a national
newspaper in Wales carried a story about the presentations and the
initiative the next day.
November 1st, in New Zealand, I spoke at a national conference to
promote workforce literacy as a part of the governments new national
adult literacy strategy. Workbase, the organization that arranged for me
to give the keynote for the conference, hired a public relations person
to arrange media interviews. I did a live national TV show, a live
national radio show, and one newspaper interview a couple of days
before the conference. At the conference the press was invited to attend
and to enjoy the lunch provided for all participants. I did another
newspaper interview at the meeting. I know of at least two national
newspaper stories that subsequently occurred.
Looking back at these recent experiences, I note that there were some
1. Adult educators had a message that they wanted promulgated in the
2. They set up a meeting/ conference to present the message.
3. They provided an "outside expert" imprimatur to the message being
4. They hired a professional public relations person to arrange media
5. They invited media to participate actively in the meetings they
6. They provided refreshments for the media and other participants.
7. They got the desired results in terms of media coverage.
I might add that I have attended and presented at many conferences in
the U. S. where no such efforts to attract media attention were made and
no media coverage occurred. As David and others have indicated, it seems
that special efforts must be made if the attention of the media is to be
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