Now how are we going to do this…
Let’s get to work. Many members call the PR department because they simply do not know how to begin their media outreach. Each call we take and topic presented to us is of great importance to the ASLA PR staff, but the answers are going to remain the same.
Where to Start
There are five essential media opportunities for each state chapter every year. At the end of this guide, you will find either a template or an example press release for each of these occasions.
Every chapter should send a press release to local media announcing Chapter Awards, A Project that affects the local community, Expert Tips from local landscape architects, and National Landscape Architecture Month (NLAM).
Each of these events is newsworthy in their own right. Chapter Awards show that local member’s projects have an impact on their community; if the projects are not local, that the member is an award-winning professional of which the community should be aware.
A Project may or may not be newsworthy, so use your judgment. Who does the project you are promoting affect? Has there been disagreement internally surrounding its implementation? Does it change or influence the community for the better? Is it incredibly innovative? Ask yourself these questions before pitching a journalist.
Expert Tips shows a journalist that you care about your community and can provide good articles that are interesting and pertinent to their readership. The more tailored the tips are to a community, the more likely a journalist is to post your article. NLAM is a great time to announce all of the chapter activities your chapter has planned. This shows community support and development. It also may be a place that reporters will have camera crews cover to get footage for local nightly news. Find out if your local TV station has special segments that highlight local businesses or small business owners who are improving the communities in which they live.
Innovation and motivation create the fifth and most important media opportunity. This opportunity involves coordinated action in the community and rallying members to maintain a constant awareness of PR possibilities. This could range from a rally promoting a LA’s voice on water resources to a community workshop on “Eating Your Neighborhood.” Once your chapter(s) implement an idea make sure that your publicity matches the creativity of the event. Hint – with the summit coming, we encourage chapters to work together with a maximized pr campaign to match the efforts!
These five events create opportunities to educate your cities about landscape architecture, the varieties of projects landscape architects work on, and promote the importance of landscape architecture.