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Member resources

Generating media coverage for a Beaver Scout Sleepover

This is one of a series of guides that explain how everyday events in the life of a Scout Group, District or County can be used to generate media coverage.

What are the facts

All good media work begins with a press release. When starting out writing your press release make sure you answer the following questions.

Who was there? What happened? When it happened, Where it happened, and Why the event occurred.

Make sure you summarise the whole story in the first paragraph of the release. A journalist should be able to grasp the basic details of what went on by reading this paragraph. The remainder of the release is a detailed expansion of the facts.

Key Messages

Key messages are essential tools in all communications work. To be effective as a communicator you need to identify the key messages that you want to deliver and use them as a way of structuring your writing.

Every piece of communication should have a key message. Is it obvious? Do you know what it is? If a story your writing doesn't have a key message and demonstrate Scouting as a modern, growing, adventure based organisation why are you writing it?

All of your stories should provide an opportunity to deliver Scouting’s key messages. These messages can be demonstrated in every part of your story from the who, what, when, where, why to the images and quotes. All of the information that you include should support your messages.

What's the story

The key elements of this story are that through scouting young people are given the opportunity to build friendships, enjoy new experiences, gain life skills, aid personal development and enjoy everyday fun and adventure.

What quote should I use?

Make sure you get a quote from a young person. The quote should reflect their excitement at being a part of the event and a positive experience they have gained. This could be about staying away from home for the first time, a new activity they have tried, building friendships or simply enjoying an adventure.

Also include the quote of an adult volunteer. What have they gained from the experience? It could be organization skills, confidence or just the reward of helping young people have a positive experience.

When taking a picture to go with your press release try to be as creative as possible. Static or posed shots aren’t nearly as effective as action shots.

Try to get a picture of some group members involved in an activity. Capture them having fun and looking like they are enjoying themselves.

Action shots tell more of a story, try to spend some time prior to the event thinking about what activities will offer a good photo opportunity, and if there is anything you might need to bring along to help get the right shot.

Also consider your surroundings, backdrop and lighting. It is hard to get a great shot in a dimly lit Scout HQ.

Stay firm

Write the story you want to write. Don’t let the reporters sway your decision making. This goes along for the picture as well. Once you make up your mind for a picture you want to use, set it up and tell them what you will be using for the picture.

Its also worth checking out the template press release


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