Sometimes, word of mouth promotion is just not enough. Here are some ways to promote your Rally for the Cure event so that the message of awareness and the need for fundraising reach the widest possible audience.
1. Print – Tell your story to the local press, community magazine or a golf or tennis publication that reports on local philanthropic events.
a. A print article or entry in an event calendar will help publicize your event, your need for more volunteers, participants and business supporters.
b. A local reporter may want to interview one of your leadership team, or you can craft a carefully worded press release to distribute by email to a number of newspapers and magazines, together with photos.
c. Always ask to see the article before publication to “fact check” and ensure your explanation of the event, your mission and goals were correctly interpreted. This is not always possible because of tight deadlines, but can help to avoid inaccuracies.
d. With a telephone or in person interview, always forward written background information about your organization, its events, the leadership team and main sponsors to ensure the reporter has all the correct spellings and contact information.
2. Radio – many radio stations need a steady stream of interesting local interest stories to fill their hours of airtime and can provide a wonderful way to share information about your event.
a. Most interviews are taped, so any mumbles or mistakes can be edited out before the show is aired.
b. Always submit background info about your event and organization as well as your preferred “talking points”, to make sure the interviewer knows the key topics you would like to discuss.
c. Review your talking points ahead of time and practice your responses so you are well prepared and relaxed during the interview.
d. It’s radio – so no pressure on what to wear!
3. Television- If you have an exciting fundraiser coming up, it is newsworthy!
a. Submit all details as early as possible to the news station and line up one of your team to be interviewed.
b. TV news interviews are usually live, and typically only last a couple of minutes, so you need to be sure of the message you wish to convey.
c. Always send your talking points and event history for the interviewer to review prior to the broadcast.
d. Send photos if possible – pink attired participants from previous events make great teasers for the upcoming interview. When shown live during the newscast they can add a dramatic and memorable visual for the viewers which can be difficult to convey with words alone.
e. The two minutes will fly by. Be confident and well-rehearsed in the message you want to share.
f. If it is a longer feature, consider asking a breast cancer survivor to tell the story of her journey, or a sponsor to share why they support your event.
Having a third party report on your event either in print, on the radio or TV can add a certain validity to your cause, attract more participants and business supporters and helps you reach a much wider audience with your message of early detection saving lives. It also offers a unique opportunity to publicly thank your business partners, enhancing their experience of supporting your event.
It is worth keeping all your local media contacts informed of your plans and your results, so you develop a lasting relationship with the print editors, chat show hosts and news schedulers. Once they know you have an interesting story to tell, they will be keen to keep your plans and achievements in the public eye and add your organization to their interview schedules.