Here’s an excerpt from a press release I sent out today for a project I’m working on right now — The Adoption Journey Project (www.adoptionjourney.org)
There’s two factors of this example I’d like to highlight. . .
But first, here’s the content about the campaign first:
This year’s football fans gathering at various watch parties will have access to one Super Bowl coach’s personal thoughts during halftime. A free downloadable video kit is available to local game watching party organizers which features Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy and his wife Lauren.
The video message includes a personal appeal to Americans on the subject of the current orphan crisis and adoption. Dungy is involved with The Adoption Journey Project (www.adoptionjourney.org) to help influence more couples to consider adoption.
“The big win on Super Sunday would be to raise awareness about the millions of children who need a family. I would love to see thousands of local community groups and circles of friends gathering together to stop and consider how they can help,” said Dungy, the winning head coach of the 2007 Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts.
“With more than 100,000 children in need of a stable and loving family in the US, if just a fraction of groups gathering to watch the Big Game influence just one family to adopt, we would make a huge dent in this social crisis,” said Marc Andreas, Vice President of Marketing at Bethany Christian Services, the largest adoption agency in the country.
Basically, we’re asking anyone that’s hosting a Super Bowl watch party to play 3 minute Tony Dungy video message sometime during the halftime. Dungy is the Super Bowl winning coach of the 2007 Indianapolis Colts team. PLUS, the 2012 Super Bowl is being hosted in Indianapolis this year. And Tony & Lauren Dungy are also Christians as well as adoptive parents.
The downloadable video file is available at www.adoptionjourney.org/dungyhalftime — along with instructions to burn it to DVD or stream it to TV set-top boxes like AppleTV, Tivo or WD Live devices. Hosts can also download a printable conversation guide with some suggestions on how to set it up and spark some discussion.
So what are the two factors I wanted to highlight about this campaign?
(1) The usage of press releases and a resource-filled landing page is a tool most non-profits and ministries really should be considering. The release is being sent out over PR Newswire and Christian Newswire. We’ll see for sure over the next week or so if utilizing these outlets will gain us positive coverage and exposure. But in general, using a tier-1 wire service can really help the cause.
Once the release is published it will also help us in approaching bloggers and other influential leaders by pointing to a media resource page with some or all of the following:
- clean full text copies of the published press release — both as text on the page as well as a downloadable PDF. For example, you can find the PDF of the full press release on the Halftime video campaign landing page
- listings of early media hits for the story to give social proof
- downloadable and embedable video clips that relate to the story
- static images / photos that help tell the story — with captions
- background on your organization, sometimes called “boilerplate” ABOUT US type info
- FAQ’s that anticipate the basic questions a writer will have about the story
- contact information so media can reach out to you to coordinate interviews and quotes
(2) See how this campaign takes advantage of timing around another public event — with this example, it is a national event that is brings with it a lot of pre-existing top-of-mind and awareness related to the advocate talking about the cause.
Over 100 Million people will be gathering around TV’s to watch the Big Game on Feb 5th, so it is a rare opportunity to reach tons of local groups huddled around the TV set on a single day. If just a tiny portion of a percentage of game watching parties actually showed the video, having the Dungy give this appeal to Americans about the orphan crisis could make for a huge win for adoption initiatives.
Keeping tabs on current and upcoming trends will help you jump on the bandwagon and take advantage of topics that have built-in enthusiasm from the media community. If you build your story properly, you’ll be able to get your message played in front of the audience others are already building for you.
If you still aren’t sure about press releases in general, I’ve written before about why I think press releases are a good tactic to use in your communications mix.
QUESTION: How can you start using press releases to draw supporters, participants and simply more awareness to your programming efforts? Leave your brainstorming comments below.