PR Toolkit

How to approach your local media

To support your efforts and build greater awareness of the Jane’s Walk in your community, we are providing you with simple tips and templates that you can use to approach local media to cover your story.

By getting your story published in your community newspaper, you help Jane’s Walk gain recognition as a leader in building cohesive communities and improving the walking environment. You also help build a positive profile for Jane’s Walk and build your own profile in the community.

The following guide will assist you in approaching your local newspaper with your story idea.

We want to hear about your successes or suggestions. When you are successful in having an article published, please let us know so we can watch for it in our media monitoring. Also, let us know if the editors decline the opportunity so we can consider better, more effective approaches to gain media recognition.

Background

What is considered “newsworthy”

Newsworthy stories and columns are about topics that are:

News can be “hard” or “soft”. The difference is often between something that has just happened – a hard fact – and something that may happen. Hard news is when doctors find a cure for cancer. Soft news is when they’re looking for a cure—it’s still important, but there’s no hard fact to report just yet.

Guidelines

How to approach your community newspaper

Which paper to choose?

What kind of publication are you approaching?

Who do you call?

When do you call?

What do you say?

Making the call

The e‐mail follow‐up

Hello (insert name),

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me earlier about Jane’s Walk [YEAR] activities happening here in our community.

Jane’s Walk is a series of free, guided‐walking tours that brings communities together by putting them in touch with each other and their neighbourhoods. These walks were initiated by some friends and colleagues of Jane Jacobs in memory her inspiring ideas and approach to neighbourhoods and cities. The aim of the project is to bridge social and geographic gaps and create a space for cities to discover themselves. Well into its _____ year, Jane’s Walk is taking place internationally on May ______ across Canada and in cities around the world.

I was wondering if (insert publication name) would be interested in raising awareness of these walks by writing an advance story to encourage participation. In (insert community), I am organizing a walk called (insert Walk name). This walking tour takes place on (insert date and time and start location) will include among its highlights:

▪ Insert bullet point form highlights

If you are interested, I can talk to you further about the tour and my involvement or put you in touch with the Jane’s Walk about the project’s history and mission.

I would also love for you to cover these walks. Please consider sending a reporter and/or photographer—Jane’s Walks, the people who participate and the sites they visit are all quite visually compelling. I also have a few images from last year’s walks in ______, if you are interested.

For more information, please visit: www.janeswalk.org

Thanks—I look forward to discussing this further. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.