My Saturday started at 4 a.m. Phoenix time. This is the unglamorous part of public relations, as is obvious by my oddly patterned pajama bottoms and bedhead. The reason I'm sitting at my desk before the sun is up may not make sense to a lot of people, but for me it's what fuels my fire!
As the main media/public relations contact for Dreams Soar, I'm placing calls to media in the Daytona Beach, Florida area to encourage them to cover the launch of a young, female pilot's solo journey around the world. I'll get back to her mission later, but I thought I'd share the steps I've taken to get this far.
Three weeks ago, I wrote a press release announcing today's launch and a media alert which is a shorter, more succinct version of the press release highlighting date, location and timing of the agenda. I also worked with the Dream Team (don''t you love it!) which consists of a group of students, mostly from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, to develop a marketing toolkit for sponsors and supporters. This toolkit consists of this press release, social media images, a new launch video, photos and additional information that they could send out to their employees and customers. The purpose is to encourage our supporters to promote the Dreams Soar mission to their followers, further broadening our reach.
Two weeks ago, I sent out the press release to a large list of media contacts in the Daytona Beach, Jacksonville and Orlando areas to notify them of our launch and educate them on the Dreams Soar mission. I also started to coordinate media alerts for the over 18 outreach events that will take place in different cities around the world where children and adults will meet this amazing pilot, Shaesta Waiz and be invited to learn more about the importance of STEM education.
One week ago, I re-sent the press release and media alert to my Florida media list. Again, sending a message imploring them to attend the launch because instead of covering fires, murders and other mayhem, a story about a local girl making history would excite their audience. Started the countdown on social media with messages and the new launch images to also encourage our followers to help spread the word!
Four days ago, called the top media outlets, including the national affiliates (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX) to speak to someone in their newsroom to confirm they received the media alert and it's been added to their daily assignment book. This is the fun part! In my experience, you could send a media alert ten times to a newsroom and call them five times and they still won't have the media alert on file! That's why, three days ago, I called again. Two days ago, I re-sent the media alert with BOLDED text everywhere in hopes that they read it and one day before the launch I also called all the media stations, newspapers and magazines on my list to remind them AGAIN to cover our launch.
Today, I called three hours before the launch to see if any reporter and or camera crew had been assigned to the story. You guessed it! Two stations claimed they didn't have the media alert.
Why do I love this job? Because when I do reach a media outlet that is interested in my story, they show up, and actually do a story; I've achieved my goal! My favorite part of the process is when I receive an affirmative response from the media person on the phone. I yell out, "I love you!" and that usually makes them laugh!
It takes a lot of work and perseverance to get to this point, but the reward is so sweet!
Pray for a S L O W News Day!
Interested in following Shaesta on her global route? You can follow her live here.
Follow Dreams Soar on:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/DreamsSoar/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/DreamsSoarSTEM