Engaging with the media can be a great way to boost your fundraising activity, learn and new skill and raise awareness of ICS and issues facing developing communities.
Key messages to share with media
- International Citizen Service (ICS) is a UK government-funded development programme that brings together 18 to 25-year-olds from all backgrounds to fight poverty in overseas and UK communities
- The money you’re fundraising will go towards the future of ICS to ensure developing countries can continue to benefit from the work of volunteers - to get the best reaction from the audience reading/hearing/seeing the media coverage it’s important they know that any money donated is not spent on your travel expenses. People will be less likely to donate if they think they’re paying for your flights and this is not what the money is used for.
If you’re contacting media, use the template provided to ensure you get the message right.
How to use the press release template
- Complete the details in the template provided and read it out loud to check it makes sense! Get the email address of the newsdesk at your local newspaper/radio station – look for their number online and call them to ask specifically for the newsdesk email address. Don’t use any generic email addresses you might find online, it’s likely to go to the wrong place and be missed if you do
- Think about other media outlets you could approach – employer newsletters/intranets, community magazines and radio stations, university newspapers and radio, church newsletters, local blogs – there are plenty of opportunities for exposure that aren’t just the local newspaper
- Copy and paste the press release into the body of an e-mail and put the title of it as the email subject
- If a journalist from a local newspaper or radio station wants to interview you in more detail, or send a photographer, the contact details of the of the ICS media team are on the press release to help arrange this
- If you need any additional support, for example with radio interview preparation, call us on 0208 780 7226
- Send a picture!
If you’re targeting a local newspaper, attach a clear, good quality picture of you. Remember though:
- You need to be the main subject (don’t make it too crowded)
- Make sure you’re looking at the camera (no action shots)
- Relate it to your fundraising activity – e.g. baking cakes, sat on your bike, holding your running shoes etc
- If anyone else appears in your photograph make sure you have their consent to send it to local media
- If you have an ICS t-shirt or anything with the ICS or agency logo - wear it or hold it!
- Make sure the image is no bigger than 2MB so you don’t crash the newsdesk’s inbox