The Press

What's black and white and makes you blue? The press. That's blue as in bruised or blue as in sad and overlooked - make sure you generate the sort of attention that won’t leave you either vilified or ignored with this expert advice.

Even though the journalists and media people who make up what we call the 'press' might seem a bit scary and out of your reach, they actually need you. Without people like you getting in touch and telling them interesting stories they would have nothing to write about. Journalism is supposed to be all about finding those stories, but sometimes it’s worth giving journalists a bit of a helping hand by putting yourself right in front of their noses. That’s where we come in to help.

There are three main things you do

  1. Work out what you want to say.
  2. Work out who you need to say it to.
  3. Get in touch and say it.

And we've got tools to help you do that:

  1. Use Laura Mahon’s presentation about PR to clear up exactly what PR is and to understand how best to represent yourself.
  2. Have a go at writing your own 'press release'. This one was used to publicise Battlefront Campaigner Aimee Nathan’s coffee-cup stunt.
  3. Journalists in your local paper will love to hear about what you're up to. Pick your county from this list to hunt down your local press contacts.
  4. Before you pick up the phone make sure you have a squizz at Rebecca Ladbury’s tips on dealing with the press.
  5. Once you’ve taken all the advice on board then get to it: phone, email, and chase those journalists to get your story talked about.
  6. Have a look at Michael Norton's helpful 'Untie your tongue and get licked': a practical public speaking guide for young activists by downloading a pdf copy of it here.
  7. CSV - the people behind National Make a Difference Day - have put together this handy guide which includes excellent advice on how to handle the media and how to get the press and celebrities on side.

Here's an example campaign from Laura Mahon at PR agency Iris on how to raise awareness of prostate cancer: get everyone to grow moustaches for a month.


How do you raise a million pounds for prostate cancer using only moustaches? Good question...and one Iris PR pondered when recruited to launch the global charity phenomenon Movember to an unsuspecting UK.

The answer lay in getting key media partner, The London Paper, so excited that they wrote a story a day during Movember and helped line up a 'Mo off' between the Virgin, Capital and Xfm breakfast show teams. Add coverage across national and regional press and TV, together with the small matter of 1,500 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas at an end of Movember party, and you’ve got the client an ROI of £40 for every £1 spent and you’ve raised £1 million pounds in 6 weeks. Not too bad for our first year.