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Posted by Bennie Sue ( on April 09, 2001 at 20:56:30:

From the article Steve sent me about PUBLICITY, here are a few hints about how YOU can publicize the OUCH convention.

The author of the article states:
"You can say you have a great service (that is advertising) - but it means more when someone ELSE says you have a great service (that is publicity)."

He continues:
The most important element of any publicity outreach is the basic information: the details of what you are trying to publicize and to whom you will send it. It can not be emphasized enough that all contacts with the media must be thorough, accurate and timely - arriving well in advance of the deadline and including: "

Here's what an individual might type up and turn in to a local newspaper or radio station:

WHO: The Organization for Understanding Cluster Headaches (O.U.C.H.)
WHAT: will hold its second annual convention
WHEN: June 29-July1
WHERE: in Atlanta, Georgia. ((You have covered all the most basic points in one sentence. Newspapers like to do that. They can easily pick out a few words for a headline if one is needed.)
WHY: CH sufferers will meet to discuss means of informing the public about a little-known.....
HOW MUCH: (cost would not be of interest to your local newspaper unless you are inviting people to join you at the convention but if you are offering something free, you should say so)
EXTRA: contact information (day and evening), details

Of more interest to a local or community rag might be something like:
WHO: John and Silvia Harris of Lochapocha
WHAT: will attend the second annual convention sponsored by the Organization for....
WHEN: to be held June 29 - July 1
WHERE: at the Holiday Inn in Jonesboro, Georgia.
WHY: Delegates to the convention will meet to decide policy... etc.

Maybe of more interest in a medium-sized town:
WHO: Dr. Joe L. Haynes, local neurologist,
WHAT: will be guest speaker at the second annual OUCH convention
WHEN: June29...
WHERE: in Atlanta, Ga.
EXTRA: His topic of discussion will be "Means of Educating the Public...."

(Once you have the first paragraph done you can add another with more details such as what is CH, how many will attend, etc. But keep it factual.)

Back to the article:
" Develop a list of the mailing and phone contact information for the media people you have determined WILL BE INTERESTED IN WHAT YOU ARE SENDING."

(I consider this a really key point in this article. Who is interested in writing about CH?? That is what we need to determine.)

"Target your media outreach and target it well. Large newspapers, television stations and big-city radio stations have different needs from community newspapers, public access television stations and small town or specialty radio stations."

(We can pretty much forget the national scene. But a smaller community newspaper might be happy to include a notice that "you", someone in the community, will be attending a CH convention. And that is your chance to inform.)

..." local media outlets you never knew existed - neighborhood magazines, special focus radio stations, foreign language newspapers, specialty newsletters - some of them might be perfect for your news. "

(Think about your town. Even very large cities have additional media outlets in various communities. What newspapers are sold on newsstands and outside the local grocery store?)

"Depending on what kind of news you have to offer, you must figure out which section, column or writer will care about your news. Do the research necessary to get a specific name - don't just send your information to Editor."

(Just pick up a copy of your local paper,take a look to see what they feature; then look on page 2 or so to find the name of the editor responsible for that category of news. This is your contact. Or write directly to a columnist who handles heath news in your area.
We believe our ailment deserves national headlines. But that simply
is not the case. Only a very few people are interested in CH. If we had celebrity associated with us, that person's name might be enough to grab the attention of large media outlets.)

" I received more news releases that were inappropriate, late, incomplete or incorrect (read UNUSABLE) than releases that met my needs (read USEABLE)."

(So you see getting publicity can be very difficult if you fail to heed tha author's advice.)

"... you must meet each reporter's comfort level by providing enough information that they are comfortable talking about you to their regular audience. This can be accomplished by sending background information, documentation, brochures, reference letters, and other "media kit" materials.
Depending on the season and subject matter, reporters in smaller markets get anywhere from two to ten times more information than they can use; in major markets it could be ten to 50 times more stuff than they can use. This means that even if you send in newsworthy, accurate, thorough and timely information to the correct people, your information might not be used. Do not take it personally.

99 and 44/100 per cent of the people who contact the media ASK FOR HELP. The media are not in the business of helping you. Their job is to disseminate information . You will be a breath of fresh air if, when you approach the media, you OFFER information that you believe will be of interest to the reporter's readers, listeners or viewers."

(Now, I think everyone can see that the OUCH media committee could not possibly have the resources or facts needed to reach all the local media
whom you may know. But there is no reason you cannot produce and distribute this material.)

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