How to gain publicity for your

How to gain publicity for your

How to gain publicity for your school during British Food Fortnight

Taking part in British Food Fortnight is a good opportunity to gain some local publicity for your school. Many schools taking part in last year''s event were featured in their local papers and some were even featured on television. Media coverage can be a good way of thanking teachers, parents and children for their involvement. Here is all the information you need to help you gain some local publicity. See also the sample media release and full list of media contacts in each region.

British Food Fortnight will be promoted in the media nationwide. But you may also wish to speak to your local media yourself, especially if you already have good contacts. The aim is simply to gain some fun coverage for your school. Here are some general tips on dealing with the media - we hope these will be helpful in the build up to British Food Fortnight, and in the months beyond.

- Find your local press contacts, either from the local paper you buy or from the comprehensive list of regional media contacts on > how schools can take part. Remember to include your Parish magazine.

- Write a press release describing your school''s activity and providing as much factual information as you can about what you are organising - think where, why and when and be concise. Give your release a short, snappy title that encapsulates the content of your release. Ideally your release should not be longer than one page, including contact details. A draft press release is provided by Clicking here.

- Give details of any local food and drink used and where it has come from.

- Send your press release to your chosen media. Allow enough time between when you distribute information to the press and when the activity is planned - a good measure is to aim for a couple of weeks beforehand. (any earlier and the press may forget about it).

- Give your contact details so that a journalist can ring you if more information is required. As journalists work 9-5pm please give a number they can contact you on at this time.

- Follow up the information you have sent with a phone call to the editor, food writer or restaurant reviewer. This not only reminds them that the activity is taking place, but it also gives you the opportunity to engage their interest over the phone.

- Aim for post-publicity too. Invite a journalist/photographer along. Newspapers are always keen to publish photographs of children taking part in activities. If a journalist cannot attend, you can post or email a selection of photos to the paper''s picture desk with a typed note giving details of your event.

- Don''t forget to contact your local BBC and independent radio stations. If your school''s event is particularly big and involves other members of the community they may send an outside broadcast unit along. If not they may announce the start of BFF and your involvement in it. Much depends on you getting your information to them in good time. Give them two weeks'' notice.

This advice has been provided by an independent PR company.

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