Oxfam Trailwalker Canada & The Media This is a step-by-step guide of how to work with your local newspaper or media outlet to raise awareness about Oxfam Trailwalker – and help your fundraising drive! Your local newspaper can help you to:
• Raise awareness about your efforts to walk 100km and raise vital funds for Oxfam Canada’s work to fight poverty around the world
• Meet your fundraising target by directing members of your local community to your team page
• Promote your local fundraising events to members of your local community
• Seek potential sponsors or support from the local community.
Step 1: Preparing a media release The first step is to prepare a media release that summarizes the key information about your team and your involvement in Oxfam Trailwalker Canada 2013. On the next page, you will find a media release template that you can use. When inserting information into this template, make sure you include and consider the following: Key information: The first paragraph or ‘lead’ (generally 30 to 40 words) should include the ‘who, what, when, where and why.’ The most important or eye-catching information should be in the first couple of paragraphs; the least important towards the end. Don’t be afraid to be provocative! The catchier, the better. Quotes: Include a quote from one of your team members about why you are participating in Oxfam Trailwalker Canada 2013. It feels goofy to write about yourself in the third person (and it’s amazing how wooden written quotes can sound) so try to speak them out loud and rework if necessary so they sound natural. Make it different: As well as providing key information, your media release should show the journalist why your story is unique and newsworthy. Short, simple and clear: Media releases should use clear language, be only one page and consist of paragraphs that are no more than a sentence or two. DD/MM/YY (Today’s date) MEDIA RELEASE <> to walk 100km for Oxfam <>, <>, <> and <> from <
> will walk 100 km together from Wasaga Beach to Midland in under 48 hours to help raise money for Oxfam and help people living in poverty all over the world. Doesn’t sound so tough? Imagine the blackened toenails, the blisters and the back strain of walking for two consecutive days! <> <> are just one of 200 teams of four expected to walk from XXX to XXX, as part of the international endurance challenge Oxfam Trailwalker. <> <> aim to raise <> for Oxfam’s work to help communities overcome poverty. Oxfam is an international confederation of 14 organizations working together with partners and allies in 99 countries around the world to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. Oxfam Trailwalker began in 1981 as a military exercise in Hong Kong and is now one of the world’s largest and longest fundraising extreme endurance challenges. It takes place annually in Australia (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane), New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Netherlands, France, Germany, Ireland, UK (North & South), Belgium and Canada. To sponsor <>, go to www.oxfamtrailwalker.ca/ <> For more information, please contact <> on <>.
Step 2: Contacting media Once you have prepared a media release, identify the local papers, radio stations, news blogs or television stations in your area and collect email addresses or fax numbers. Send the release around between 10.30 a.m. and noon on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Don’t ask me why, but these tend to be days when editors are looking for material and mid-morning tends to be a time of day when they’re able to read releases. Feel free to follow up with a call to the news desk. You should introduce yourself, and quickly outline the key points that make your story interesting. For example: “Hi, this is Jane calling from Toronto. I’m calling because I have a story idea that I thought would be interesting for your viewers/readers/listeners. Myself and a few other mothers will be walking from XXX to XXX in less than two days. <>. We’re doing this as part of Oxfam Trailwalker, which raises money for people living in poverty all over the world.”
When speaking to the journalist, you should have at hand:
• A copy of your media release. You should offer to re-send this to someone specific.
• A digital team photo
• Contact details of someone they can interview, who will be able to speak about your involvement. This can either be yourself or one of your team members.
Step 3: Preparing for an interview Journalists look for energy, enthusiasm, a bit of humour and great quotes in an interview. This is a fun story and you should have fun with it! Think about the questions they’re likely to ask: Why are you doing this? How are you training? What does Oxfam do? Do you think you’ll make it? Be prepared, but try not to be over-scripted! Before you’re interviewed, write out what you really want to talk about. When you’re asked why you’re doing this, think about the challenge, perhaps the team building, or maybe it’s a fitness goal. But don’t forget to mention us over here at Oxfam! To get yourself prepped for that question about where the money goes, visit: http://www.oxfam.ca/what-we-do or http://www.oxfamtrailwalker.ca/about_money. Understand the difference between print and broadcast In a print interview, you have more time and can explain in greater detail, but remember, the journalist is still looking for a great quote! In broadcast, the interviews are shorter, sharper and need to have easy-to-understand answers. How you say it is just as important as what you say.
Specifics for broadcast
• Feel free to ask the reporter what kinds of questions they may ask you on tape. They want you to be prepared too! Think about your answers, have a relatively clear idea of what you want to say.
• Keep your answers short. A great interview is one where the interview and interviewee have an exchange. So don’t feel like you need to get it all in in one mouthful!
• If you tend to speak quickly when you get nervous, try to remember to slow down.
• Be mindful of your ummmms and your ahhhhhs.
• If you’re on camera, try to avoid nodding at the questions. It’ll give the viewer the impression that you agree with the question, even if that’s not the case!
• Above all, have fun. Trailwalker is about fun – the challenge should be the walk, not the media!
Step 4: At the event If a newspaper or television station expresses an interest in sending a camera or photographer to take pictures of you on the trail, please notify Ryan Hollinrake, Oxfam Canada’s Event Director, as he’ll help coordinate their visit to the trail. You can reach Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-518-6699. He will be their contact on the event weekend and will ensure that they are able to obtain images of you on the trail. In most cases, the newspaper will ask you to send them images of you on the trail after the event. If this occurs, please also notify Juliette, as she will ensure that the event photographer is able to take professional photographs of you while you are walking the trail and will email your team leader these images immediately following the event.
Step 5: After the event Please follow up with journalists who expressed an interest in your team or fundraising event. Select your best images from the event, and put together some quotes from your team about your experiences on the trail. Send it all in an email and offer to do a follow-up interview. It really helps “close the loop” to people who supported your fundraising efforts to know that you completed the event. And they really do want to hear your survival stories!
Do you have an interesting story to tell? Maybe you have overcome hardship, making your 100km a personally significant journey. Or maybe you and your team just work at the same organization and have a wager with your colleagues about whether you can survive each other’s company for 48 hours! If you think you have an interesting story to tell and are willing to do further media interviews, please contact: Ryan Hollinrake at email@example.com or 416-518-6699