Media Outreach

Letting the media know about Green Energy Doors Open and your event(s) can be a lot of fun, attract more visitors to your event and help spread your story. Here are a few tips.

Giving interviews

Be well prepared with the speaking points you want to communicate – call us if you need some help:

  • Know how you want to come across.
  • Provide compelling reasons to be trusted.
  • Don’t be so quick to speak.
  • Say it like you mean it.
  • Make a point of pausing.

Remember you are a spokesperson for your sustainable energy project:

  • Present a “human face”.
  • Be a credible source of information talking about what you know.
  • Be a spokes-person, not an answer-person!
  • Deliver the core message – sustainable energy is powering Ontario’s prosperity and your project is a great example!
  • Stay “on message” – all the time.
  • Tell the truth all the time, it’s ok to not know the answer.

Know the interview situation

  • What is the interview objective?
  • What is the target audience?
  • Why are you there?
  • What is the topic of the interview?
  • What has the journalist said about sustainable energy before?
  • What questions will he/she ask?
  • Print or broadcast (live or taped?)
  • What is the outlet’s deadline?

When developing and delivering messages remember:

  • Key messages are the ‘lyrics of the sustainable energy song’
  • Key messages are catchy sound-bites (lines, not paragraphs)
  • Key messages are what will drive the target audiences to do and think good things about sustainable energy
  • If you repeat key messages about why sustainable energy is creating prosperity, highlighted by your story, this is what will be covered. If a glass is half-empty or half-full, our message is “half-full”.

Always use the question to get your message out – use bridging words and phrases that lead back to your message like:

  • “but…”
  • “and…”
  • “however…”
  • “The main point is…”
  • “The really important thing is…”
  • “What people need to know is…”
  • “What we need to remember is…”

Keys to media success:

  • Help the journalist do his/her job, but don’t be rushed or assume he/she is automatically your friend
  • Listen to the question and understand it before answering
  • Answer directly. If you are asked a question more than once, simply repeat the right answer
  • Long, rambling answers = short, tough questions
  • If you don’t know, say so and don’t be pressured into saying more than you want
  • Avoid complex jargon, draw easy-to-understand “word pictures”
  • No arguments
  • Do not speculate
  • Use the “free advertising opportunity” of your interview to mention Green Energy Doors Open and your project
  • Never say “no comment”
  • Nothing is entirely “off the record”
  • If you don’t want to see it in print or broadcast, then just don’t say it
  • Always tell the truth
  • NEVER do an interview immediately so that you can be prepared:
    1. Let them know you are busy but will call back
    2. Ask them some questions to help you prepare
    • The reporters name, the media outlet and contact details
    • Ask what the topic of the story is and scope
    • Determine the deadline
    1. Offer to call back
    2. Talk to your colleagues and pull together your material
  • Stay on message while still answering the questions
  • Inquire about the questions that you will be asked before the interview takes place to better prepare an excellent response
  • Don’t talk too much as most quotes are very short.

Contacting your local newspaper, radio or TV station

  • Contact the assignment editor with your story or event, Check “contact us” or the editorial page to submit your piece.
  • Make sure your story is proof-read and free of any errors before you send it.
  • Be aware of deadlines.
  • Invite the media outlets to attend your event with a media advisory. (see template below)
  • DO YOUR PREPARATION AHEAD OF TIME.

Being on camera

  • If you get invited to participate in an interview on camera for television or for Internet streaming services, provide an interesting backdrop behind the host and the person being interviewed.
  • You can put a banner of your company’s or organization’s art, a logo or a poster in the background.
  • DO YOUR PREPARATION AHEAD OF TIME.

On the radio

  • If you get invited to an interview that will be broadcast on the radio, you should aim to be well acquainted with the show before you call in.
  • DO YOUR PREPARATION AHEAD OF TIME.

Templates & resources