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When you incorporate a media relations element into your outreach program, your overall goals should mirror those above. But specifically for your program, media relations may be needed before, during, and/or after the outreach program is concluded.
Before: PR done before, in order to promote and advertise your outreach program, in an effort to get people to attend. Of course this is essential if it is a public event; the public needs to know to attend it and the media can help facilitate that. But you also want to alert the media in advance of your event to encourage them to attend and cover it in their publication (be it in print, on TV, radio, or even the web)
During: during your program, you should be mindful of the media presence and work with them to make sure they get the best, most accurate information, interviews with articulate, friendly project managers and participants, and best photo opportunities. Remember the media is at your event to provide value to their readers/viewers. If you provide them with the opportunity to do so, and treat them with respect and help them as needed, they will help you by covering your program.
After: The hope is that the media who attend your event see a story there that readers/viewers will find valuable and interesting, and therefore will cover it in their publication. If that happens, send them a thank you note. It is the perfect way to solidify the start of a good relationship with that media representative. And then, stay in contact with that reporter and let them know of other events you are having in the future that may be of interest to their readers. A Tip: don’t hesitate to contact the reporter and give them a tip about a possible story that has nothing to do with you. If they see you are happy to help them even if it does not directly benefit you at that time, they will be more apt to help you and cover your event in the future.