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Big Green Week
The Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership brings together over 70 organisations in the public, private, and third sectors and is jointly chaired by Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) and Cumbria County Council. To achieve its goal, the partnership will be delivering a range of projects and activities, many of which have been inspired and developed by local communities. A number of these community-led projects and activities, including (the name of your project/organisation), have been made possible by a £2.5 million grant from the National Lottery Community Fund. For more information about the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership, go to Zero Carbon Cumbria Programme - CAfS

Publicity and promotion during Great Big Green Week August 2021

Organising an event / activity in your local area can have many immediate benefits for those who take part, but the impact of your actions can be greatly increased if you can inform the wider public about what’s going on. The media are always going to be interested in local stories led by local people as an angle on national news – so start planning now to make the most of this opportunity!

The following ‘top tips’ are designed to support you through this process. Get in touch with Helen : helen.attewell@cafs.org.uk if you would like any support on this.

Check list:

1). Listings in advance – when you have finalised your event, make sure that you ensure that those details are as widely available as possible well in advance of your event using:

  • Facebook / Twitter / other social media / emails to local networks asking them to send on to their members
  • Newsletters (yours or local community / parish newsletters)
  • Great Big Green Week listings Find an event - Great Big Green Week
  • Press article i.e. free advertorial – much cheaper than placing an ad in the local paper, and potentially seen by more people – write a press release and send in to local journalists with a view to getting the information into the paper in advance (see appendix below).

Don’t forget to include Credits for the National Lottery Community Fund / Zero Carbon Cumbria if this is relevant. This is really helpful in CAfS reporting to the Lottery so that they can see the impact of their funding, and also helps build awareness of the determination of the ZCC to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2037 or before. Please see logos above and the appendix below with more information on logos, forms of wording for different contexts etc.

2). Before the event – in addition to sending your release about the event details to print media; send it to local radio / tv stations and ring them to see if they would like to send someone to the event to film / do an interview about your activity. It’s not very likely that the radio will send someone on the day, however, they might be interested in doing a pre-recorded piece.

3). During the event – think about the different tasks required in advance of your event and decide within your group who is going to take responsibility for what…

  • Sign in sheets – don’t forget to capture details of potential members / supporters at the event.Even if it’s just an informal event / stall, you could ask people if they’d mind signing up to receive information about your activities in future – this means that you need a sheet (preferably on a solid clip board for rigidity within a transparent plastic cover in case of rain + lots of cheap pens (people will wander off with them!)) with a proforma printed off with Name; Address; email address; phone number for people to fill in.
  • Designated photographer – ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ – and images will help you promote your story (with the media on Facebook etc.) and contribute to an archive of your activity (annual reports, webpages, newsletters etc.). You don’t need a fancy camera for this – often mobile phone cameras are great and then make it easy to send images via WhatsApp etc. If you are taking photos including people’s faces, please make sure that you have permission for this and ask them to sign a disclaimer (we are working on a version for Cumbria Sustainability Network groups)
  • Media liaison person – make sure that you have someone lined up to talk to the press if they turn up. They might be interested in capturing a variety of voices, but you need someone to take responsibility for the liaison bit.
  • Live Tweeter – depending on the event, you might want to live tweet throughout and use a hashtag to link in to others e.g. #climatecrisis or #COP26 – do your research in advance - but you might want to target specific individuals (MPs / councillors / celebrities / colleagues) and include them in your tweets e.g. @helenattewell etc.

4). After the event

Act quickly to send in a report of your event + a photograph to the local paper / relevant newsletters or websites – if you can send to a named individual, so much the better. A ‘human interest story’ will be of particular help here – someone who is benefiting from your help / advice ; a photogenic child (remember that you will usually need a parent / guardian to sign off permissions to use an image of an under 16 year old, so it might be helpful to use a child of a volunteer); an unusual prop which illustrates the impact of the climate crisis; a local solution to a local problem.

This helps out the press as they have fewer and fewer journalists available, and also helps you ‘control’ the story by providing it in your own words. (Unfortunately it is also possible for journalists to rewrite your release and get it muddled anyway – but generally any publicity is better than no publicity!).

If you do have a good experience with the media, you could send a courtesy note to the journalist involved – it’s good to build relationships and you can use their contacts for anything coming up in the future.

Please also send on copies of press articles etc to helen.attewell@cafs.org.uk – we would like to document Cumbria Sustainability Network’s ability to reach out to the local media.

Appendices

a). Credits for the National Lottery Community Fund / Zero Carbon Cumbria

If your project/activity is funded by the National Lottery, you must use its logo in the correct colours and size on your website and in any publications, i.e. newsletters, leaflets and posters and in any presentations. Please display the National Lottery logo on the home page of your website and on any pages about the project/ activity.

To download the logo click here and for information on how to use it, here.

Text for websites

If you have a website, please add this text to it. This could, for example, go on a page about the project.

(The name of your project)/Some of our activities is/are funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and are part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership’s ambitious emission reduction programme to make Cumbria carbon neutral by 2037. 

The Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership brings together over 70 organisations in the public, private, and third sectors and is jointly chaired by Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) and Cumbria County Council.

To achieve its goal, the partnership will be delivering a range of projects and activities, many of which have been inspired and developed by local communities. A number of these community-led projects and activities, including (the name of your project/organisation), have been made possible by a £2.5 million grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.

For more information about the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership, go to Zero Carbon Cumbria Programme - CAfS

Wording in press releases

  1. Please mention both the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership and the National Lottery in any relevant press releases, as set out below.

  1. You should refer to the National Lottery Community Fund in either the first or second paragraph of the press release.

  1. Please refer to the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership using either the short or long versions of the text below.

Short version

(The name of your project)/Some of our activities is/are funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and are part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership’s ambitious emission reduction programme to make Cumbria carbon neutral by 2037. 

Long version

(The name of your project)/Some of our activities is/are funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and are part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership’s ambitious emission reduction programme to make Cumbria carbon neutral by 2037. 

The Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership brings together over 70 organisations in the public, private, and third sectors and is jointly chaired by Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) and Cumbria County Council.

To achieve its goal, the partnership will be delivering a range of projects and activities, many of which have been inspired and developed by local communities. A number of these community-led projects and activities, including (the name of your project/organisation), have been made possible by a £2.5 million grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.

  1. At the end of the press release, in the Notes to Editors, you could include the text below.

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.   

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life. 

b). Writing a press release

There are lots of helpful resources on line – I would recommend materials from the Media Trust as they have been set up specifically to support the voluntary sector. There is also a template release and good advice provided through the Climate Coalition GBGW supporter resource: Media Guide + press release (greatbiggreenweek.com)

Writing a press release and how to pitch it | Media Trust

Follow these 10 simple steps to develop your own press release.

1. Label – clearly label it with ‘press release’ and the date you are publishing it

2. Headline – summarize your story in one sentence – make it sound as interesting as possible but a clear description is the most important thing as journalists will want to judge whether the story is relevant to their audience

3. First paragraph – tell the main facts of the story – who, what, why, where, when, how, and make sure you mention why it is newsworthy e.g. an event happening this Friday, new research published today

4. Second and third paragraphs – expand on your story with more information and facts and figures

5. Comments – provide a view from a spokesperson – e.g. one of your committee members and a view from someone external (could be a VIP, a customer/ service user, local politician, academic expert or a partner organisation)

6. Closing paragraph – talk about what might happen next and say if there is anything you hope people will do such as signing up to your service, attending an event or making a donation etc. Don’t forget to include any relevant public contact details such as your web address, Facebook and Twitter profiles and any hashtags (#) you are using on social media

7. Ends – write ‘ends’ in bold to clearly show the end of the content for publication

8. Notes to editors – include a ‘notes to editors’ section with bullet points providing background information for journalists such as information about available photos, link to a research report, a brief biography of a key spokesperson etc. (See information above re forms of words regarding National Lottery funding and your involvement with the Zero Carbon Cumbria partnership)

9. Contact for more information – include your phone number and email address for journalists – this should usually be the first bullet point in the ‘notes to editors’ section. Try and make sure that these contact details are for someone who is readily available!

10. Boilerplate – this is a short “about us” paragraph that explains your organisation or project and its history and includes details like your web address

c). Media contacts

You will find it really helpful to start to build your own database of media contacts – particularly if you keep it up-to-date with notes about who has been helpful and when, and whether they have any particular interests / connections.

A list of contacts has been put together by CAfS (see attached spreadsheet). Have a look through and pick out which media outlets (newspapers, radio stations, websites etc. are most relevant to you). Please feel free to use, but don’t share more widely without permission.

3). Possible wording for ‘media release form’:

Event: _____________________________Date: _________________________________

I hereby grant permission to the rights of my image, likeness and sound of my voice as recorded on audio or videotape without payment or any other consideration, as part of the media project/event named above.

I understand that my image may be edited, copied, exhibited, published or distributed and waive the right to inspect or approve the finished product wherein my likeness appears. Additionally, I waive any right to royalties or other compensation arising or related to the use of my image or recording.

By signing this release I understand this permission also signifies that photographic or video recordings of me may be electronically displayed via the Internet. There is no time limit on the validity of this release nor is there any geographic limitation on where these materials may be distributed.

By signing this form I acknowledge that I have completely read and fully understand the above release and agree to be bound thereby. I hereby release any and all claims against any person or organisation using this material for these purposes.

4). Media interviews

Key advice is ‘Don’t be scared!’. Many people are put off at the idea of talking on radio or TV – but if you focus on talking to an individual (the journalist) and make sure you prepare well in advance, then this is a great way of reaching a wider audience and building support. You can’t go wrong if you have rehearsed your three main messages and keep repeating them at every opportunity!

Again, the Media Trust have great resources: A charity guide to media interviews | Media Trust

If you are able to ask someone to practice questions with you that will help you build your confidence – but be aware that you could be asked to comment on something which you haven’t prepared. It’s fine to say ‘that’s not my area of expertise’ or ‘I don’t have any information about that’. Most importantly, try and be yourself – that will resonate with the audience and encourage them to listen. Media interviews are definitely a skill that improves over time, but we all have to start somewhere!

The Cumbria Sustainability Network of which Sustainable Brampton is a founder member is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and are part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership’s ambitious emission reduction programme to make Cumbria carbon neutral by 2037. 


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