An easy guide to publicity

When you accept a grant you must produce publicity for the project. You must also publicise its association with the Staffordshire Local Community Fund.

Publicity is an important part of your project. It tells people all about your new initiative. It also helps them to understand how the community will benefit. You could not have a better start!

By using this guide and press release template, you will see it is easy to shout about your project. You will then make it a real success.

Gaining positive publicity will be easy. Your project is for the good of the community so it’s a great news story.

What is the publicity process?

What you need to do depends on the amount of funding you have received.

We make the grant on the basis that you agree to acknowledge the support of the Council. This is by using the council logo when producing any form of public material. This includes press releases, leaflets, posters and signage. If your project has a website, our logo must appear on the home page.

You must commit to pro-actively generate publicity that acknowledges the councillor and the council. This will include, but is not limited to the following:

For all recipients of funding

  • We will give you a certificate to display that acknowledges the county councillor’s contribution
  • We ask you to use the county council’s logo on all new signage produced
  • We ask you to use the county council’s logo on all posters and leaflets produced that publicises any events using funded facilities
  • The logos are available below.

For recipients of amounts above £1000

  • You must produce a press release and liaise with local press.
  • You must invite your councillor for comment and to take part in any photo opportunities.

Why use the Staffordshire County Council logo?

We must make sure tax-payers know how we spend their money. Make sure the County Council logo is visible on all materials about your project.

Important: You can make the logos bigger and smaller by clicking and pulling on the corners. Do not alter the dimensions. You must not make it appear taller/shorter/squashed or stretched in any way.

Colour and black and white logos are available:

Who do I contact?

Download the press contact list to find out who you should contact in your area.

Don’t contact every journalist in the county. Journalists in Burton are unlikely to be interested in a project in Wombourne.

What do I do?

Publicity is about contacting the media (i.e. newspaper, magazine, TV and radio journalists). You need to persuade them to write a story about you. It helps you to reach more people than you could ever do in person. For example the Express and Star in Stafford has a daily circulation of over 143,000. That’s an awful lot of people who could read about your project!

It’s up to you to tell the journalists about your project. Give them lots of different ‘news angles’ or different stories to publish. Before you contact a journalist, be clear about what your objectives for publicity are.

Ask yourself: 

  • What do you want them to do?
  • Do you want them to come out and interview you or write an article about your project? 

They may want to take photos. Make sure there is something to see of your project. For example: 

  • Someone holding the plans of your new shelter or
  • The first sod cutting of your new countryside path

Staffordshire County Council needs to prove that taxpayer’s money is spent correctly. We ask you to provide copies of all the receipts that you collect and all press coverage you receive.

What are press releases?

These are the best way of providing the journalist with a news story and the information that they need.

It should never be more than two pages long. The less the journalist has to edit it, the more chance you have of getting it published or broadcast.

The publicity guidance includes a sample press release.

What are photo opportunities?

Arranging a photo opportunity is a great way of getting more publicity for your project. Newspapers often like to use engaging photographs to go with a story. It provides a visual element and helps to gain the reader’s interest. A journalist may want the chance to come along and take some photographs. We recommend:

  • You set up a photo opportunity for your project.
  • Then make sure you mention this within the press release. 

When you arrange your photo opportunity:

  1. Make sure the county councillor who provided you with the grant can attend. Try to get the SCC logo into the photo by using the certificate sent to you or other branded material.
  2. Make sure there is something interesting and visual for the photographer to see. Think about the types of photographs you see in your local newspaper.

Make sure that anyone in the photos is aware that newspapers, magazines or web pages could use them. Get their permission.

Remember that parents must give consent to anyone in a photo who is under 16. A consent form is available to download.

Please send your publicity photographs to Heather Collingwood at heather.collingwood@staffordshire.gov.uk

What are publicity events?

These are another exciting way to draw attention to your project or initiative. The best events give the public and/or journalists a look at your project before it has opened.

For example you have produced a new youth shelter or other building. Write a press release and call a photo opportunity for before the official opening day. The journalist could write a piece that will draw attention to when your service is available.

You may want to hold an event to celebrate some sort of award presentation. The opportunities are endless!

Make sure there are some people who are going to be taking advantage of your new project at the publicity event. The journalists will want to make sure they capture the 'human interest angle'. This means talking to the people who are going to benefit. Also make sure that you are there to meet the press and brief them on what is happening.

How do I handle a radio interview? 

  • People will remember your project better if you don’t overload them with too much information.
  • Think of the three main messages you want people to remember.
  • Try and get this information into the interview as many times as is practical.
  • Use simple language – no jargon
  • Most interviews are pre-recorded so don’t worry about stumbling
  • Your project is a great news story. They won’t ask awkward questions. Don’t get drawn on topics you don’t know about.
  • Think about the questions you’ll be asked and how you could answer them
  • Be enthusiastic about your project
  • Make sure you talk slower than you would do normally

Further information

For further information and guidance please see our publicity guide document:

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