With the volume of media information getting bigger and bigger each day, your voice gets smaller and smaller. How do you get your voice heard by the audience who wants to hear it? There is only one answer – you have to spread your word to many more different outlets and channels.
One of the biggest keys to successfully working with the media today is to understand that they are under financial pressure to survive. No longer do they dispatch reporters, they want you to write up what occurred, using their format (limit on the number of words, images, etc.). They want a package that you send them that is publishing ready. They rely on you to tell the truth and become a trusted source. Don’t ever burn them with something that is not factual. This is an absolute rule. Trust is key in this business.
Who will be your media person? Just looking at the outline below, you can see that this job can be huge and a big consumer of time. The media person will be working feverishly from the early planning meetings until after the regatta is over. They’ll be late to all of the parties and will be sending out releases after everyone has gone home. There will be no need to flog them for “no good deed goes unpunished,” as just taking on this job provides little gratification, while concentrating on a computer to get the information out timely results in little camaraderie. This person must enjoy writing, must enjoy the successes of being published, and just may need the experience to build their own professional résumé with this volunteer effort.
It starts by recognizing there are different audiences:
• News Media
• Your Club
Timing (too early will always be better than too late. And never be too late!)
• Your Club Website must be updated first before sending out any notices, press releases, results, etc.
• Your Club membership and all regatta committees should receive all Press Releases – make your club proud.
Send these releases at the same time they are send to the press.
• To Competitors
o Regatta Announcement (Social Schedule & Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, Press Releases Before, During and After the Event). When to start? It varies, the earlier you can get the event to potential competitors, the sooner they can block their calendar. For bigger events like a World Championship, at least 12 months is recommended. For a National Championship, at least 9 months ahead. For a Regional or Local Regatta, at least 6 months ahead.
• To Media send releases describing the upcoming event two weeks prior to build some interest, and daily releases throughout the event.
As Soon As Possible Get Your Event Date on the Sailing Calendars:
• Scuttlebutt http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/event-and-regatta-calendar/
• Sailing World http://www.sailingworld.com/regatta-calendar/regatta-calendar
• Yachts and Yachting http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/community/calendar/
• Your Club
• Class Website(s)
Setting Up Separate Email Group Lists of the Following People Will Save You Time in the Long Run
• Club Race Committee
• Club Protest Committee
• Club Membership
• Club Management & Officers
• Media (see below)
Attracting the Press to Physically Come to Your Event:
• It will be critical to have built a relationship with media people. They need to know you and need to know to trust you. Reporting on what you give them and have it errant harms their credibility and future pay. Calling up the day before and asking a reporter to show up at the club just won’t work!
• Start early by inviting them to crew and write or report their experience for just any old race early in the year (be sure to have them helm).
• It is critically important for radio and TV news to be there for any World Championship. This requires a strong personal relationship and keeping them informed from the beginning to the end of the event (even if there are no races due to the schedule or weather, let them know at the normal end time of racing each day).
Next, Who You Send Your Social Schedule, Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, Press Releases, and Results Information To?
• Sailing Anarchy Submit via webpage: http://sailinganarchy.com/article-submission/
• Your Club Newsletter & Website
• Your Club Facebook
• Your Club Twitter
• Your Club LinkedIn
• Your Club Google+
• Your Class Newsletter & Website
• Your Class Facebook
• Your Class Twitter
• Your Class LinkedIn
• Your Class Google+
• Local newspapers (search the print and electronic paper’s websites for contacts)
• Patch (http://patch.com/, search the electronic paper’s website for contact)
• TV (use what connections you or your club have)
• Radio (use what connections you or your club have)
Press Releases - How Many? (Only Very Important Information)
• Regatta Announcement
• Day Before Racing Starts
• After Each Day of Racing
• Last Day of Racing
Press Release - Format & What It Must Contain (Areas in Red to be filled in by club):
Also consider including a link to an open (not copyrighted) photo page on your web site making it clear that the images are available for use by others, no charge.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
XYZ Yacht Club, Announces Event Status
City, State – Date
Fill in your Message in copy and paste, ready to use format, for immediate republishing.
Thought - have you noticed in the TV Show Home Makeover that it was about the building of a new home in a week, but they wrapped it around a human interest story (illness, war hero, etc.). Or what about Undercover Boss? They find employees with financial challenges (college debt, wanting to go to college, lost everything in a fire and rebuilding, etc.). Find these human interest stories, it might be as basic as getting a flat tire on the way to the regatta, or something hilarious that occured during a race or back onshore. Just writing "Joe Schlitz Wins!" looks like every other sailboat race ever run, and is actually boring and unappealing.
Be sure to include the weather conditions if it is a race report (sky condition, wind speed, wind angle, degrees of shiftiness, sea state, rain, fog, hail, etc.).
About XYZ Yacht Club
Founded in XXXX, The XYZ Yacht Club provides family oriented sailing experiences, youth sailing school, local, regional, national and international sailing competitions and socials.
Physical Address of Club
For More Ideas on Publicity for your events, please read the articles at Sailing Scuttlebutt on "Event Communication."