Case Study: Conservation in Oregon
With a nose for news and a penchant for developing productive relationships, I worked with the Oregon Conservation Partnership to identify great stories, get them into the news, and get them in front of decision makers. The media I secured has reached 118,000 people thus far, and resulted in an average of 20 shares on social media per article. Call it public relations, media relations, news media, or earned media -- when done right, it means getting your story heard.
Support and funding for conservation work is always uncertain. The Oregon Conservation Partnership recognized that their members – land trusts, watershed councils, and conservation districts throughout the state – needed help getting the word out about their great projects. They needed voters and elected officials to see that the public dollars invested in this work is bringing value to communities. There's no better way to do that than with stories; and reaching voters and elected officials means getting those stories into the news.
The partnership hired me to collaborate with their 100+ member organizations scattered throughout every county in the state to get more news coverage on projects. I liaised with the leaders of the partnership to learn about newsworthy projects, and I also presented several times at their membership meetings about what news is, and what kinds of projects journalists might be interested in.
With my assistance, the McKenzie River Trust secured an excellent piece on TV news in Eugene about their Finn Rock conservation project.
When a water crisis hit Salem, I worked with the North Santiam Watershed Council to secure a story demonstrating the power of collaborative conservation work in the face of powerful global forces.
The next step is to share those stories with decision makers particularly, so with my help, each organization will email the article to their county commissioners, board members, or local legislators with a message like, “This program has been a great success. Thanks so much for your support of our work.” The personal touch makes a difference. This is where government relations meets media relations.
In some instances, the news coverage has led to personal visits from legislators, which earned yet more media coverage because that’s how the process naturally works. It snowballs.
In other cases, local individuals contacted the organizations, wanting to learn more and get involved.
And finally, the media coverage I helped earned around Oregon to support the Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund helped advocates when they went to Washington, D.C., say to their congresspeople, “Look. This program is really important. Please ensure it stayed funded.”
My news media and public relations services include:
News media strategy development
Media training and coaching
Story and news identification
Press release writing
Strategic media pitching
News media research
Press lists for targeted journalist outreach
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