Promoting your Junior Landcare grant
Promoting the Junior Landcare grant your school or group has been awarded can have huge advantages. Getting the word out there about how you are using the grant will raise the profile of your school/group, could encourage local people in your community to get involved and may even help you get sponsorship and support from local businesses.
You may want to advertise in a local newspaper, promote your school/group project with a promotional poster or flyer or host a launch event for your garden/project.
- An event invitation
- A promotional poster/flyer
- An advertisement
Please note that artwork containing the Junior Landcare logo or any corporate sponsor logos must be approved by Landcare Australia prior to use.
Poster and Flyers
Printing promotional posters or flyers is a good way of getting the word out about your project. When designing these printed materials make sure to include all the information you want people to know, including:
- What you’re promoting
- If it’s an event, when and where is it taking place and how much does it cost to attend?
- Website details if you have one
- What you want people to do
- Contact details for more information
- Once your posters or flyers are printed you can then distribute them around your local area using:
- The community board in your local shopping centre or community centre
- Local businesses that display posters including cafes, libraries, shops etc..
- A letterbox drop
You could also approach your local newspaper to see if it would be willing to insert flyers into an upcoming edition for a reduced fee as part of a sponsorship deal
Another great way to publicise your event is to get some local media coverage. You can promote the fact that your school/group has received a grant and you can promote the launch of your school/group garden or environmental project.
When you are approaching the media you need to be armed with a media release, photographs and a spokesperson. Here is an example of a local media story:
Here are useful guidelines when writing a media release:
Use a short, catchy headline to grab attention
This should be in bold, in a larger font size than the main body of your media release and centred at the top of the page underneath your logo.
Put the important stuff at the top!
Make sure you include what the journalist needs to know in the first two paragraphs and avoid including irrelevant information. The first paragraph should outline the key story in one or two succinct sentences – make every word count.
The second and possibly third paragraph should include all necessary information that the journalist needs to know – Who? What? Where? When? Why?
Introduce your spokesperson
Include an informative quote from your spokesperson in the next paragraph where they talk about the importance of your grant/garden/project and what your school/group hope to achieve from it. Your spokesperson should be a senior figure in your organisation or the person in your organisation best suited to speak about the project.
Include the facts
Make sure to finish your media release with the information people need to know such as if you are looking for volunteers or sponsorship and if so, how do people get in touch with you about this.
Include contact information
At the bottom of your media release you should include a mobile phone number and email address for further information. Always ensure that your spokesperson will be available for interviews when you issue the release.
Here is a sample media release:
Help Street Primary School goes green with Coles and Junior Landcare
Sydney, 5 September 2010: Local school, Help Street Primary, has recently been awarded a $1,000 Coles Junior Landcare Coles School Garden Grant to help with the creation of a school vegetable garden.
With the aim of encouraging students to learn about sustainability and the environment in a hands-on way, Help Street Primary School applied for funding through the Coles Junior Landcare Schools Garden Grant scheme which is available to all schools and youth groups in Australia. Teachers, Declan Smith and Nancy Jones, and their Year 5 and 6 students are now planning the preparation of a suitable area in the school grounds for cultivation where they will grow a range of vegetables and herbs including basil, parsley, zucchini, lettuce and peas.
“The best way for children to learn about sustainability today is to figure out what it means at a local level and working on a school garden is an ideal way for them to do this,” commented Tom Jennings, Principal of Help Street Primary. “It’s the perfect way to educate them about where food comes from and also demonstrates that everyone, everywhere, can try their hand at being that bit more sustainable.
We are delighted to have gotten the help needed from Coles and Junior Landcare to continue with this garden project and can’t wait to start getting our hands dirty!” he added.
Coles Junior Landcare School Garden Grants and Yates School Environmental Management Planning Grants are offered to encourage students to learn more about the environment through ‘outdoor learning’ and interaction.
The teachers, parents and students of Help Street Primary will start work on their vegetable garden in the coming weeks and hope to have completed the first phase of the project and have seeds planted by the end of term.
To find out about Junior Landcare and Coles and Yates Junior Landcare grants, please visit juniorlandcare.dreamhosters.com
For more information:
Help Street Primary School
Tel: 02 9955 4455
Don’t forget – a picture tells a thousand words! Always try to include a colourful, eye catching and relevant photograph with your media release. Not only will this draw the reader’s eye to any story that may appear in print or online about your project, but it may also increase the likelihood of getting media coverage in the first place.
Photographs should tell the story of your event. A good publicity photograph should be:
- Crisp and in focus
- Colourful and bright
- Simple – so that if it is reproduced in a smaller size it will still stand out
Focus on what’s important
Whoever is featuring in the photograph is your subject and therefore should be the focus of the photograph:
Avoid lots of sky or lots of foreground
Avoid a few tiny people in the distance with loads of grass filling the photograph
Avoid focusing on someone’s back or side
An ideal photograph should include a smiling face looking towards the camera with the environment around them providing the context and what they’re doing telling the story.
Big group shots can work well for a larger print article but always make sure to get pictures of either one person or smaller groups of two or three people. Most images will be reproduced on a small scale and these types of images will look better when reduced in size and tell the story just as well if you compose them properly, such as the photograph accompanying the article on the first page of this document.
To best illustrate your Junior Landcare grant or your garden or project, photograph a small group of people in their gardening gear posing with relevant props such as garden tools, plants or seedlings.
Make sure to also capture people at work in the garden as these images can be useful for promotional materials and your school/group archive.
Examples of photographs that don’t work!
Examples of photograhs that work!
Selling Your Story
Who you need to talk to
In any locality there will be a number of potential publicity avenues available to you including:
- Local newspapers
- Local radio stations
- Local television networks
- Local community groups, clubs, schools and societies that publish newsletters
Pick up the phone
Call your local newspaper, radio station etc and ask who would be the best person to email about your grant or garden/project launch event? Once you have that information, you can send them your media release and image. If you don’t get a response within a day, follow up your emails with phone calls to see if the relevant people have any interest in your story.
When you are pitching to a journalist on the phone have your story summarised into two succinct sentences – keep it short and sweet. Then ask them if they think your story would be of interest to them and if they need any further information.
- Consider what you can offer a television network if they are interested in covering your story – can they come to the launch of your garden or visit the school/group and film the students working on the garden? Can their reporter get involved?
- Can a local newspaper send a photographer or reporter out to photograph children working on your project/garden?
- Remember that if your local newspaper is published on a weekly or fortnightly basis they will need the information well in advance of when they go to print. Give them a call to find out what their deadline is.
- Find out how regularly local community groups, clubs or schools issue their newsletters, what their deadlines are and if your story can be included.
- If you are looking for a radio or television station to cover the launch of your garden/project, talk to them at least a week before to event to see what their diary is like.
After your event
Please send us your media release, images from your garden/project or event launch if you had one and any media clippings you generate. This assists us when we provide reports to the relevant Junior Landcare sponsor listing all the PR activity you have had with the project. We would also like to promote your story on the Junior Landcare web site and eNewsletter. Note that the Landcare Australia logo or any corporate partner logos must be approved by Landcare Australia prior to use.