A STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO MEDIA PLANNING FOR KIDS TO PARKS DAY
Getting local media sources to promote your Kids to Parks Day events can greatly increase the number of people who attend your event. Use this planning document to supercharge your event promotion and stay on-track towards a successful Kids to Parks Day event! Feel free to adjust the timeline to fit your event and organization’s goals.
Create a Media Contact List:
Create a list of local media contacts for promoting not only your upcoming event but for future events as well. If you can, get an email and phone number for each contact.
- Newspaper Contacts: Daily and weekly papers, Online news sites, Weekly and monthly local publications, Calendar and event editors, Photography editors, Reporters who cover outdoor topics, family and parenting, and health issues
- TV Contacts: Local news assignment desk, morning news show producers, local weather persons
- Radio Contacts: News Directors, Public Service, and Community Affairs Directors, a good source to find local public radio stations near you is npr.org/stations
Social Media Partners:
Find local organizations or groups that will agree to post about the event on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts in advance and after the event. Look for Facebook groups for your town or city where you can post about your Kids to Parks Day event and reach the maximum number of community members.
Two to Three Months Out
Starting March 1st, once you have your basic event details nailed down (time and place, activities, invited notable people, or other special guests), send a short email to media contacts to get the event on their radar. If there are no local newspapers or television stations, your local government may have a news section on their website that will spotlight your Kids to Parks Day event.
Let them know you will be updating them with additional information and details as the day gets closer. For added publicity, invite reporters to tour the site and talk with you or other event hosts in advance of the event.
One Month Out
Starting in Mid-April
- Check back in with the reporters you contacted earlier and fill them in on any additional details. Confirm their plan to attend the event or to publicize it.
- Invite community contacts who might participate or spread the word. This may include public officials, school teachers, church leaders, parks and recreation directors, local celebrities, and civic group leaders.
- Highlight your Kids to Parks Day event in your monthly newsletter and on social media. Tag media and community contacts in your social posts. Ensure the event is listed on your website if you have one.
- If you are issuing a media advisory to invite the press to your event, develop a timeline for getting approval. Determine when you want to send the release and allow at least two weeks for the review process. Consider who you need to get quotes from and how long that may take. Search online for ‘Media Advisory Templates’ for examples.
- Track who confirms they will promote or attend your event. Use an Excel or Sheets file to track all your media and community contacts and their responses to your outreach.
- Gather materials for the event that will be beneficial for future promotion. Having signage, t-shirts, handouts, and other materials can make for great photo opportunities for the media and future promotion. Luckily you can find great resources on the Kids to Parks Day website.
Two to Three Weeks Out
Starting May 1st
- Finalize your media advisory. Get signoff on quotes. Be sure that it includes the most important information, including:
- A contact name and phone number
- Event details: Name of event, date and time, venue/location, schedule of activities (if any), featured partners, and other information your contacts may need to know
- Make sure you note these important facts:
- Kids to Parks Days, a program of the National Park Trust, is a national day of outdoor play celebrated annually on the third Saturday of May
- 2023 marks the 13th annual Kids to Parks Day celebration
- List any public figures or partners planning to attend your event
- Send media advisory and give your media contacts a call. Distribute the media advisory to your media contacts by email. If you don’t get responses, call your contacts to follow up.
- Utilize the provided sample social media language to promote and increase turnout/ awareness of your Kids to Parks Day event.