After you have done basic publicity to announce the date and
location of your program you may want to try to place a feature
story idea with a local newspaper or magazine.
Editors and reporters are always looking for a good story!
What constitutes a good story? It is one that shows how members
of the local community are responding to a common problem.
Start by calling the newspaper to find out who is covering
families or education in your community. Call that editor/reporter
and briefly tell him/her about your parenting class and how it
is helping to meet the needs of families in YOUR COMMUNITY. Be
sure to mention relevant community issues such as adolescent
smoking, drug and alcohol use, teen driving/accident rates, the
need for parental involvement in the schools
and how parenting
education can HELP PARENTS RAISE CHILDREN WHO ARE COOPERATIVE,
RESPONSIBLE, AND ABLE TO RESIST PEER PRESSURE.
Remember, as national media stories focus on serious societal
challenges affecting families (for example, education, violence,
drug use, reckless driving), reporters are looking for LOCAL
stories about people and organizations that are actively HELPING
families to avoid and overcome problems.
Invite the reporter to attend a class with the understanding
that parents' names must be changed in the story to protect their
privacy. Note that newspapers like to take and run their own
pictures, so a photographer may accompany the reporter. If a
parent does not want to appear in the photo for some reason,
be sure to mention it to the reporter and photographer.
After the story runs, be sure to call or e-mail to let the
reporter know about the response you have received and thank
him/her for increasing community awareness about the importance
of parenting education. Reporters are people, too, and like to
know that their work is making a difference. This can also help
you develop a relationship with the reporter/news organization
and may lead to future coverage.