Promoting Your National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Event: A How-To Guide for Media Outreach
February 17, 2009
Promoting your National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event is important for creating awareness, engaging the community and driving people to attend the event. There are several ways to promote the event, from reaching out to local media and generating news coverage to working with local organizations.
Establish a Spokesperson for Your Organization
The first step in media relations is to establish a spokesperson who can serve as the face of your organization and conduct interviews. Make sure the spokesperson is someone who is familiar with your organization, its mission and the purpose of your National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event/activity. They should also be comfortable speaking to reporters and doing television and radio interviews if needed. Creating talking points will help the spokesperson relay key messages.
Create a Media List
Create a list of local newspapers, TV and radio stations to contact in your area. Go online or call the station or publication to find out who the health editor or reporter is. Your organization's communications department may already have a list of local media, so be sure to check with them first.
Let the Media Know About Your Event
There are several ways to reach out to the media. You can send a media advisory about the event with a quick rundown of who, what, where, when and why. You can also send a more detailed press release that includes information about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women in your community and quotes from your organization's spokesperson or a health professional. Or you can pitch the reporter by sending an e-mail or giving him or her a call.
Whichever method you choose, begin your outreach about one week before your event to give the reporter enough time to cultivate the story. Be sure to follow-up!
A few pitching tips:
Let Other Organizations Know About Your Event
Send information about your event and National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to local organizations that distribute newsletters to employees or members. Local businesses, grocery stores, health clubs, retail stores, faith-based organizations, women's groups (i.e. the Junior League) and various associations may have newsletters they could include information in. Make sure to check the submission dates in advance to ensure the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day information is timely.
Utilize Community Calendars and Web Sites
Encourage local newspapers and TV and radio stations to include information about your event in their community calendars and on their Web sites. Be sure to look for submission rules and procedures to ensure your event is posted correctly and in a timely manner.
Create a Press Kit
Create a press kit (it could be a folder or CD) that includes fact sheets, bios of key spokespeople, women's health and HIV/AIDS information as it relates to your event and other useful materials about your organization and the upcoming event. Send the packet of information to reporters and have the kits available on the day of your event. Fact sheet with HIV/AIDS information are available at www.womenshealth.gov/NWGHAAD/planning-materials/.
Follow-Up With the Media
Make sure you follow-up with any media that attended the event and wrote a story. This will encourage a lasting relationship between you and the media, which will be handy for future activities or events. A post-follow-up can include a quick e-mail, phone call, or thank you note.
This article was provided by U.S. Public Health Service's Office on Women's Health.