Man Bites Dog: That’s News

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On the Roadshow Tour of British Columbia I spoke in my home town at a free event for the Family History Center that was well attended because Dr. Jack Sevy, organizer, had an idea that I was of interest in the community despite my absence of over forty years. Here's what he did.

Jack called on the smaller of the local newspapers and dropped off my media kit. He pointed pointed out to the editor my connection to the community, reviewed the contents of the media kit, and details of the event, and suggested they contact me– and gave them my number. Charming Jack must have piqued the curiosity of the editor as he assigned Holly his feature writer to call me. The call came through the next morning and we talked for about 40 minutes. She wanted more photos in the end, so called again. Three days later, and a week before the event, the story appeared filling a full page in the tabloid-sized paper. It was great press coverage for the speaker and the event. There is a lesson or two from this experience for program planners and promoters to maximize the use of the speakers media kit.
First, look to see if there is an angle in the program or the presenter that has broader appeal to the public. Capitalize on it.

Second, follow Jack's example and contact the editor, not the front desk clerk, and share your insight along with the promotional material. Encourage them to contact the speaker and give a phone number.

What was the result? Attendance was up higher than I expected. An old friend from high school read it aloud to his sweetheart, and someone planning my sister's grad class reunion emailed to get her address!

In another city, the President of the local genealogy society spotted a hook that she thought might appeal to the CFJC- TV and contacted Larry Read of the news department. Larry saw something a little different and presto, I was hustled into the studio for two minutes after the noon news on the day of my lecture in that city. Was it coincidental that attendence was 110% of what was anticipated? Who knows. But the profile of my hosts, and myself went up in that city.

So if you are a speaker, what's in your media kit?

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One response to “Man Bites Dog: That’s News

  1. Marilyn Fiedler

    Hi Ken,

    For those of us that don’t have a media kit would you share what we should have in one?

    Thanks,

    Marilyn

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