Our top tips from #CommsRes18

Photograph of someone holding a mobile phone up in the air to take a video.

This week we held out annual communications network residential and what an action-packed few days it was!

We had a busy schedule. We heard from Media Education on how to create videos using your phone, Scottish Parliament on using Instagram, STV’s Roxy McCrae on what broadcasters want when we pitch a story and finally from our very own Gillian about the Youth Work Outcomes. For those who didn’t get to attend, we’ve summarised some top tips in this blog.

Creating a video using your mobile phone

Shaun and Aonghus from Media Education ran a session on how to use your mobile phone to create great on-the-go video content. Take a look at Shaun's top tips in this short video:

Including Youth Work Outcomes in our communications

Gillian kick-started day two of the residential with an introduction to the Youth Work Outcomes and encouraged attendees to think about how to use them in their comms:

  • Impact - use the outcomes to communicate what youth work does! There are seven outcomes and we have produced a whole range of resources to help you understand them in more detail.
  • Evidence - case studies and stats should be used in conjunction with the outcomes to build really strong content. In particular, press releases.
  • Be bold – don’t be afraid to be bold in your press releases, website and social media communications.

Using Instagram to communicate your message

Hannah and Emma from Scottish Parliament shared their Instagram success stories and top tips:

  • Have an aim – don’t just use Instagram for the sake of it, have an aim! Especially if you’re running certain campaigns or competitions - for example, do you want more followers or content that can be used in the future?
  • Show you’re human – take time to engage in content beyond the things people have tagged you in. For example, like other content, reply to messages, comment on posts and watch stories.
  • Plan your stories – stories are a great way to share more informal and behind the scenes content, but take time to plan the chapters and don’t feel the pressure to be live! Having a great story is more important, so take your time to curate and plan the message.

How do you catch the eye of broadcasters?

Roxy from STV joined us to chat about what broadcasters are looking for in a press release:

  • Tailored – make sure your press release to a broadcaster is tailored and craft your headline as if it was being read out on the 6 o’clock news. Include information like if you have a case study or person that can be filmed, an available location and if you have the relevant permissions. This makes things much easier for the broadcaster!
  • Timings – send your press release in the morning the day before you want it covered. STV journalists have a planning meeting in the early afternoon and plan the next day’s content then – so make sure you get your press release in early in the morning for it to be in with a higher chance of making the planning meeting.
  • Make a connection – Roxy’s top tip is to follow up every press release you send with a phone call (yes, even those phone avoiders out there!) and build a relationship. Creating a relationship with the person on the news desk can go a long way – remember everyone is human!

What’s next?

Our next Comms Network meeting will be happening on 3rd December – keep an eye on our events page for more information. There are lots of great events that you might be interested in joining in the meantime, take a look at some of them below and some useful networks you might want to join:

If you have a blog you’d like to pitch to us or content you’d like to see on our blog, please contact me – we’re always on the lookout for great content!

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