Fast Media Relations

From time to time, I hope to share successes, failures and learning experiences in my role as a communicator. Here’s a rapid-fire rundown from Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009:

  • Ran four miles in 17-degree weather. Great way to clear head and develop strategy for the day.
  • Take one last look at media release on a Cub Scout receiving a heroism medal at the conclusion of the Greater St. Louis Area Council’s fundraising dinner on Wednesday night.
  • Post media release (http://tinyurl.com/6t5m37) and photograph of Scout on website (http://www.stlbsa.org/.)
  • Review media database.
  • E-mail media release to approximately 40 contacts. Decide not to fax–first time going with distribution solely by e-mail.
  • Log on to Twitter (jfmueller) and write a “tweet” that contains a link to the media release and the website.
  • Susan Weich, columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, calls and asks about the levels of heroism medals because she’s writing a column on another Scout who did CPR on woman this summer and is being nominated for an award.
  • Edit story for newsletter on Cub Scout receiving the heroism award.
  • Get call from Leisa Zigman, KSDK, at 6:41 p.m. She asks for help setting up an interview with Cub Scout and his family. Says she would like to do interview and top story with the medal presentation on Wednesday.
  • Call mother of Cub Scout, who pleads for time to take a shower and straighten the house.
  • Link Leisa Zigman and family for interview.
  • In keeping with the old adage that you can’t beat stories on dogs and kids, KSDK’s 10 p.m. newscast has a story about the Obama’s dog and then comes Zigman’s story on the Cub Scout. (http://tinyurl.com/7nqfcl )
  • Get on Twitter and write a “tweet” on the KSDK story.

Some reasons for success: A well-written and tightly edited media release, being accessible to the media, cooperative sources, prompt returning of phone calls, a lucky break that the child the Scout rescued in the pool–his cousin–was at his home Tuesday night.

I’m blessed to be able to use my communications skills for an organization that I benefited from when I was a youth. It’s a privilege to help Scouting tell its story to the general public.

I’ll post a link to Susan Weich’s column when its posted on the www.stltoday.com site.

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