Over the past one month, we've been working with community members
from Assamese, Kannada Malayalam and Nepali communities to get maximum
possible media coverage and press support in order to highlight their
community and events and hopefully get new editors for our movement.
In all cases, I help prepare the press release
(as, kn, ml, ne), then community members translate it and then we work
together to try and reach out to the widest possible audience.
are a few links to the press releases and newspaper articles. There are
a few in local language papers that are not online. Also, all these
reports are due to the collaborative effort and very important follow up
by community members like Jyoti, Bishnu, Gitartha, Omshivaprakash,
Anoop, Ramesh, Kannan, Sujith, Saroj and Ganesh for the communities
Malayalam: http://www.efytimes.com/e1/fullnews.asp?edid=82424 http://keralaitnews.com/state-scan/other-cities/4717-kollam-to-host-malayalam-wikisangamotsavam-on-april-28-29
Radio Sagarmatha broadcasted an interview with a Wikipedian Ganesh Paudel...
Radio Nepal Bani Broadcasted an interview with Wikipedians located in Kathmandu (Mr. Ganesh Paudel and Mr. Saroj Dhakal)
Just thought I'd share a few pointers based on what went right
and what could have been better on my part. This may help you in the
future if you too are looking to get media attention for your community and events.
A few lessons:Planning:
- Database of contacts: We have put in place a fairly comprehensive
database of English as well as local press, television and radio
contacts. I'd be happy to share them with anyone who needs to get in
touch with journalists.
- In case of local language newspapers,
calling a journalist/newspaper office or personally visiting them to
give the press brief always works better than e-mailing. Most local
language newspapers still prefer a hard copy of the brief or even ask
for a fax sometimes.
- For the Assamese anniversary celebrations,
we had an agenda well in advance and we (the community members and I)
made sure the press release was ready in English as well as in Assamese
so we could send it out to newspapers, television channels and radio
- Regarding English language newspapers, it is always
advisable to call first and then e-mail the brief to a senior editor as
well as a staff reporter (at least two people within the organization)
to ensure the story receives due attention. Attaching a few photographs
of your past meetups is a good idea.
- It is advisable to translate the press release and attach both versions while sending it to the journalist.
- If you are planning to
have an event on the weekend, make sure you call and e-mail much earlier
during the week.
- Always make sure to invite the journalists to your event. This will not
only help in getting a comprehensive story but will also encourage them
to take up editing.
- Dealing with news channels and radio
stations: While DY 365 channel covered the Assamese meetup, other
channels did not bother to follow up. For radio, it *only* works if you
speak to them in local language.
- It is a *must* to put in a contact number of preferably an email ID at
the end of a press release. Maybe all communities should have either a
chapter email ID (like email@example.com) or a gmail ID run by an
active community member. This can be super useful and will avoid giving
out personal details.
- Building a quote pool: How about we keep a
few quotes from different community members on the basics - (examples:
why I edit, how I edit, what is your message to fellow
Marathi/Tamil/Gujarati speakers) ? Of course, quotes from people are
crucial and must not be misused but, this can help the Chapter
communications team too
- Getting the article right: Spelling
mistakes, misquoted information, erroneous figures are a common problem
with Wikipedia stories. Although it may not always be possible, do
request the journalist to show you the article before publishing it.
news agencies: After the Assamese press experience, I realized having
one PTI press release ensures that the story reaches at least 4-5
newspapers. This is a very effective way of maximizing media coverage.
might have missed out on a few lessons and invite community members and
the chapter communication team to contribute with more inputs. Maybe we
can even document this on Meta for future reference.