- Posted by Poston Communications
- On April 22, 2020
- communications, community involvement, volunteering
In the flurry of news related to COVID-19 and its wide-reaching impacts, it can be easy to overlook and spread good news. That’s why today – in honor of National Volunteer Week – we’re proud to be highlighting the great work happening in our own backyard by United Against Poverty’s Orlando campus. With its member-share grocery store seeing an all-time high of visitors as a result of the rising unemployment rates, the organization has recently found itself the subject of a number of local and national media stories. We’re honored to play a small role in helping to secure and prepare for some of these news spots.
The on-the-ground team at UP Orlando includes some seasoned media pros, and we want to offer some of their excellent examples of successful interviews that you can adopt no matter what service, product or organization you are promoting:
Messaging is key. We knew going into these media interviews that it was critical to communicate four key points:
- The UP Orlando member-share grocery store is open for business with adjusted hours.
- Individuals and families living at or below the national poverty level are welcomed to shop for groceries at a 70% discount.
- The store is sanitized regularly and safe for shoppers.
- In addition to the grocery store, UP’s Life Enrichment Center is helping individuals file for unemployment and apply for other federal relief and government programs
If you watch any of the resulting media interviews, these points are clear, concise and repeated regularly.
Don’t be afraid to write down your list of “must discuss” talking points. Practice them, repeat them during the interview (even if that seems like overkill) and your quotes will reflect your prep work.
Adapting to interviews in the age of social distancing. While all the interviews for UP Orlando have been conducted on site, there have been adjustments for social distancing. One interview involved the executive director being on the phone with a producer but looking into the camera. It’s the interview equivalent of tapping your head and rubbing your belly!
Across the board, we are seeing an increase in video interviews, and offer a number of tips to make the most of these opportunities. Our media trainings and coaching sessions are now offered by video as well, so that we can rehearse together and eliminate distractions.
Media begets media. The age-old adage is true: After one article, followed another, and after one TV spot, came another. But that’s always organic: When one story publishes, we quickly identify new angles and stories to refresh the same content.
The same can be true for you: Have you spoken at a conference? Let’s covert your PowerPoint into a bylined article. Authored a guest column for a trade magazine in the construction sector? Are there some lessons that apply to the oil and gas industry? Then let’s recycle and repurpose!
Gratitude is good. Reporters, like all of us, rarely get the thanks for their hard work. We’re very thankful to our local media outlets that have come around UP Orlando during this great time. Those reporters and outlets include:
- Fox 35 (WOFL) Orlando
- WESH 2 News
- Carolina Cardona with WMKG
- Angela Jacobs at WFTV
- Brian Shields with WFTV (profiling an UP Orlando worker as a hero)
- Carlos Rausseo with Telemundo
To take a look at some of UP Orlando’s great work in the Central Florida community, check out the media clips in the links above. And we were also able to help UP land free space on dozens of billboards throughout Orlando. A huge thank you to Clear Channel Outdoor for donating the space to promote the store and ultimately help connect it with our neighbors in need.
UP Orlando is a nonprofit organization dedicated to lifting individuals and their families out of poverty. Our president Monica Smith serves on the board of directors as well as the Organizational Leadership Committee. Our Orlando office team frequently volunteers in the member-share grocery store.