20 ways to work with the media
The following is a list of activities that you can undertake in working with the media to gain coverage. These can be applied on an individual basis, but also may be applicable to chapter activities.
- Create local and regional (chapter) media lists (addresses and telephone/fax numbers) and update regularly. These can be acquired from state golf associations, local media groups, public relations firms, etc.
- Write/telephone media (include business card) expressing yourself as a willing and able source of information on environmental and golf course management issues. Provide work, home and pager telephone numbers. Include a GCSAA Media Kit to provide background information about your profession -- available at no charge through the GCSAA Service Center: (800) 472-7878.
- Create and distribute chapter membership directories and facility/chapter newsletters to the media.
- Invite the media to play golf or go to lunch with you regularly.
- Host a facility media golf outing for your local media and a chapter media golf outing for your chapter annually.
- Promote participation in various activities (ie: tournament preparation, speaking engagements, Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses and/or Schools, etc.) to the media.
- Observe local/chapter media coverage and communicate with those media outlets as appropriate. Share copies of news clips with the GCSAA communications department -- Fax: (785) 832-3665.
- Develop a plan for your staff and facility to communicate with the media.
- Practice responses to the media either in private, with a peer or a member of the media.
- Consider hiring a chapter media/public relations coordinator.
- Inform media of facility/chapter activities and encourage them to participate.
- Invite media to chapter meetings as your guest or even as a guest speaker.
- Photos tell the story. Be cognizant of good photography opportunities that will help explain your activities. Take photos of your course to document your work and conditions.
- Offer your services to the local/chapter media to serve as a columnist, radio guest, etc.
- Return all media calls as soon as possible. Inform your staff that media inquiries must be forwarded to you immediately.
- When faxing or mailing information to the media, be sure to follow-up with a telephone call to make sure it was received.
- Create rolodex cards for individual media. Secure home, work, fax and e-mail information. Also keep track of additional pertinent information (children, golfing interest, work schedule, etc.) to create a strong relationship.
- Seek “free” assistance from golf patrons who may already represent or know the media.
- Never ask the media to “proofread” stories. However, you can ask to retape video interviews or have newspaper reporters recite your comments back to you.
- Call GCSAA for assistance: (800) 472-7878, ext. 4430.