2. Get some great visuals (and keep them!)
One of the mistakes I made early on was to generate some fantastic visuals at events and meetings or one-offs, publish them and then never use them again. Now I spend the time getting some amazing visuals that I can use throughout the the year. Keeping an online photo/video library takes time (and money depending on how big your archive is) but I can promise you that having the right image and the right time can make or break your story!
4. Engage with your audience and the people that can help you get there.
For me having a good relationship with people that can help me is key. In East Lancashire we have BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Stephen Lowe as our Scouting Ambassador. Stephen helps us talk positively about Scouting everywhere he goes and he has some great stories about how Scouting has had a positive impact on his life too. Having good relationships like this isn't always possible, but something as simple as thanking a journalist after they've published a good article about local Scouting can work wonders.
In January 2016 we invited BBC Radio Lancashire to our County Campsite (Bowley Scout Campsite & Activity Centre) to feature the outdoors that Scouting provides. Our Scouting Ambassador and BBC Radio Lancashire presenter, Stephen Lowe, helped us with this.
On 22nd July 2016, after comments on-air by Graham Liver (BBC Radio Lancashire's Breakfast Presenter) that he'd never been camping, we were able to give the BBC Lancs breakfast team a night to remember - a team building camping experience at our campsite. They stayed the night before and did the whole breakfast show LIVE from Bowley. I am very thankful for the team at Wood-Sage Outdoors for helping them have the most comfortable night possible.
5. Stick to your messages
It's easy to get carried away in the conversation sometimes - especially when you add in the excitement of an interview but keeping to your messages is key if you want to get the best interview! There are some very clear key messages about Scouting but making sure that your spokespeople know these is important.
6. Look after the people that help and support you!
I cannot stress how important this is.
From the photographers who capture your amazing pictures, the adult volunteers who prepare press press releases, the team at headquarters who are at the end of the phone when it's going wrong to the producers who help pull it all together - it's important that you thank each any every one of them. I certainly wouldn't have had such a fantastic year of PR for East Lancashire if it wasn't for the people that help me so- thank you.