How to run a successful press call

Five Tips to Guarantee Media Engagement

1. Find the news angle
2. Make it worthwhile 
3. Get the timing right
4. Brief the interviewees
5. Package it up for all media 

An empty building site flattened with rubble may not seem the most promising place for a press call. But that’s exactly where the press call we held with Framework and DHP Family took place.

1. So what was the news angle?

The fundraising efforts of DHP Family through the music festival Beat The Streets are to be permanently recognised in the naming of new accommodation for rough sleepers in the city.

With the annual music festival now a fixture in the city and the work of the charity helping the homeless, the media were keen to share how the money is being used to help rough sleepers.

2. How did we make it worthwhile?

We all know media resources are stretched, and often they will pass on press calls or cover a story without leaving their desk.

So to make it worthwhile attending this one, we made sure to tick all the boxes from offering a topical news angle and a range of strong photo opps to getting the right people along to tell the story. 

Media made the most of the digger on site, building plans, a visual of the finished flats and the large fundraising cheque - and of course, getting all the key players to take up a spade too.

DHP Family MD George Akins groundbreaking new Framework accommodation for rough sleepers

3. Get the Timing Right

Held on a Friday at midday, it enabled media to come along and spend up to an hour on-site carrying out interviews and still have plenty of time to edit packages to air in the evening news programmes and write up stories for publication.

Friday is a good day for entertainment news, so the fit with Beat the Streets helped ensure media ran their pieces on the day.

4. Brief the interviewees

The block of eight purpose-built flats in Forest Fields is to be named Akins House after the DHP Family directors, so George Akins was on hand to tell the media why he made the decision to start Beat the Streets and why he’ll keep delivering the festival for as long as possible. 

Framework CEO Andrew Redfern was available to share what a tangible difference the funds raised by DHP Family are making. The press was also able to ask him detailed questions about the scale of the homeless problem in the city to frame the story. 

The difference the new accommodation will make was illustrated by former rough sleeper Danny, who has been helped by Framework to get his life back on track and was happy to share his own personal story with the media.

5. Package it up for all media

If the media can do an interview down the line, they probably won’t make it along to your press call. So we made sure there was plenty for them to see.

The site team were briefed and jumped in to operate the digger for TV; the press had multiple locations to film interviews while hard hats and hi-vis added to the visual appeal of the photos.

Working alongside the Framework comms team, we had a great turnout for this story.

Framework Andrew Redfern, DHP George Akins and Joseph Patten, and service user Danny Duvall with spades and wearing hi-vis on the construction site

Photo credits: Tracey Whitefoot

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