Talking to Scott Casber of Takedown Radio I learned that he’s a PR connoisseur. I asked him to provide you, the RSM insider, some tips. Here they are! Tip 1 Public Speaking- Form your own Speakers Bureau Each Coach and set of sub coaches on any campus can be a representative speaker for that wrestling program. Letting the Business community know of their availability through the local speakers bureau, Rotary Clubs, PTA’s, Lodges, VFW’s, Retirement Facilities, Optimist Club, Garden Clubs, Armed Forces Outreach programs, BBB’s and other various clubs is essential to the success of this idea. Suggested Steps
A) Prepare a small flyer and or email to send out and let people know of the availability of your speakers
B) Invite group meetings to take place on a specific day during or after a practice. This allows outsiders an insiders look at your program that can finish with a small talk from the head or head assist.
C) Prepare a guideline of what you feel would be important to the groups you will be speaking to and practice, practice, practice.
D) Make yourself available. You never know who you might find in that group you are speaking to.
Tip 2 Using Resources at hand with little or no actual expense Most every college campus has a major in Business Marketing, PR or Advertising. There is a student group on most campus’s and in most cities called PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) which is an off shoot of the parent organization PRSA, (Public Relations Society of America). Reach out to them. Tell them Every student needs a senior project. Request a meeting with the dean of that part of your college and set out the idea of working together so that your wrestling program becomes a target project for a group of seniors that year. This would then happen each year. Students meet with the head coach and will then brainstorm ideas as a group to bring back to the coaching staff. you will be amazed at what can come from these projects. If you pull 1 idea from each class of seniors it will be a valuable experience. Suggested Steps- A) Request a meeting with the Dean of that Marketing/ Journalism/ Business school and make your pitch. Tell them you want their help on a regular basis to get the word out about your program. B) If they are responsive- prepare for your meeting with potential students. Sell them on your program like you would a blue chip athlete. C) Follow through with these students that your working with. Warning- some will be better than others Remember they are students, not employees. you are a part of their grade so your expectation can be high as they make their PR pitch to you in their final project.
Tip 3 Pitching Story Ideas Media outlets are scrambling for news stories to capture and KEEP their audiences. What this means is that right now is an excellent opportunity to receive some FREE publicity and almost everyone could use a freebie in this economy. Remember- Don’t pigeon hole wrestling into Just Sports. It’s much more! So just how do you impress the media today? Do not waste their time. Virtually, every media outlet from television, radio, magazines, even blogs Tip 3 Pitching Story Ideas Media outlets are scrambling for news stories to capture and KEEP their audiences. What this means is that right now is an excellent opportunity to receive some FREE publicity and almost everyone could use a freebie in this economy. Remember- Don’t pigeon hole wrestling into Just Sports. It’s much more! So just how do you impress the media today? Do not waste their time. Virtually, every media outlet from television, radio, magazines, even blogs are operating with fewer staff. They still have the same deadlines and massive work to do, but without as much help. Your pitch has to have relevance and importance. If not you will surely find yourself on a blackball list and its tough to get off that list. There are some reasonable measures to take to remain newsworthy. Following these steps will help to stay on the media’s good side and off the blackball list.
1. Reality Check – Are you aware of what is going on in the news? Seriously, have you done a self-reality check to make sure that you are up to date on the latest news happenings? You can’t make the news if you don’t understand what is going on surrounding the news. Trust me most reporters and producers know when you are out of check with reality.
2. Win-Win Match – In order to receive “free publicity” from a media outlet you need to offer win-win match solutions to cover news about you. Pitching a storyline that does not match a media outlet’s target audience is the fastest way to land on a blackball list. Also, make sure that you are pitching reporters who cover news related to your pitch. Reporters don’t pass on the news to other reporters because it fits their category better; they simply toss your bad pitch.
3. Create Wrestling News – There are so many social media resources to create news buzz. Try starting a program blog, put some videos on YouTube or Blip.Tv, or connect with others on Twitter.
4. Promote Wrestling or Athlete News – Most story ideas in the media are created from a press release. Make sure that you actively promote news to attract the media to cover stories on you and your program.
5. Monitor News – Staying on the pulse of rising news stories is an entry to pitch and promote news to receive coverage. When it comes to breaking news stories the media always seek topics on related subjects to add to the story. Remember the media runs on the news and you have to stay newsworthy to be of benefit. Keep pitching wrestling and your athletes!