Also called Media Advisories or News Advisories, Media Alerts are one-page announcements of an upcoming event. They are designed not for the public, but for journalists. Their purpose is to inform reporters of upcoming events, and convince them that these events are genuine news stories that are worthy of coverage. Get inspired by looking at this media alert from an earlier Lights On Afterschool event. Send your alert to all journalists in your market who might be interested in covering your event, and don’t forget wire services (like Associated Press) which frequently produce “daybooks” of newsworthy events.
Some tips about media alerts:
SAMPLE MEDIA ALERT
October x, 20xx CONTACT: [Your Program/Rally Contact]
Daytime phone number]/[Evening phone number]
[Your program name] to Hold Lights On Afterschool Rally October XX
7,500 Rallies Nationwide Aim to Make Afterschool Programs Available to All
The [your program name] Afterschool Program will sponsor a Lights On Afterschool rally on Thursday, October XX at 3 p.m. The rally will be one of more than 7,500 such events around the nation that day, the 13th annual Lights On Afterschool, organized by the Afterschool Alliance. Speakers in [your city/town] will call for expanding afterschool opportunities so that every child who needs a program has access to one, and discuss the harm that results from budget cuts and freezes to these program. At the event, parents and supporters will sign a petition that urges lawmakers not to deny or divert funding for afterschool programs.
Participants in the Lights On Afterschool rally include Mayor [your mayor’s name], School Board Chair [your school board chair’s name], as well as local business leaders, educators and other officials. The event will highlight three of the significant contributions that afterschool programs make to [your city/town/district]: keeping kids safe and healthy, inspiring them to learn, and relieving working parents of worries about their children's activities during the afternoon hours. Hundreds of parents, supporters, and community members are expected to attend.
[Amend the following section to the specifics of your program]
The [your program name] opened in [year opened] with a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant from the U.S. Department of Education. It now serves [number of children being served] children, providing homework assistance, mentoring, tutoring, and classes and clubs in sports, recreation, mathematics, chess, and dozens of other subjects. The program is a collaboration between the school system, YMCA, Museum of Arts and Sciences and three local colleges.
The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children have access to quality afterschool programs. More information on Lights On Afterschool is available at www.afterschoolalliance.org.
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