Do you work in the arts and sometimes have an opportunity to get some media attention but you don’t know quite how to do it? The objective of this workshop is to provide the basic tools to prepare you for undertaking media relations. 

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Time: three Tuesdays, 18:00 to 20:00

Duration: 4 May - 18 May, 2021

Location: Online via Zoom

Description

All are welcome.

Limited to 12 participants

Do you work in the arts and sometimes have an opportunity to get some media attention but you don’t know quite how to do it? You want to write a news release but you don’t know exactly where to start? You have to speak to a journalist and you’re not sure how to get your message across? You want to do targeted media outreach or pitch a story to a journalist?

We saw that. That little tilt of the head and the slight leaning towards self-doubt. If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you should sign up for this workshop.

The objective of this workshop is to provide the basic tools to prepare you for undertaking media relations. Having these tools in your repertoire will do three main things: 1) ensure you get the right messages out to your publics; 2) help reduce your fear if you are intimidated; and 3) help you get the coverage you intend for your event or your organization.

What will you do for six whole hours? Broken down into three two-hour sessions, here’s what it looks like:

Session 1: Key messages and news releases

  • Learn how to develop your three or four main key messages
  • Learn what to include in a news release and why
  • Build a model that is ready to use the very next day
  • Try your hand at writing a news release

Session 2: Preparing for your interview with a journalist

  • Using what you learned last week, identify and develop your three or four main key messages
  • Learn how to build a comprehensive Q&A document to help you prepare for your interview
  • Learn how to stay on message no matter what the journalist throws at you

Session 3: Targeted media outreach/pitching stories

  • Learn how to build a credible pitch email for targeted media outreach
  • Learn how to identify and target the journalist(s) you want to pitch your story to
  • Participate in discussions about follow-ups and when to move on to the next journalist on your list

This workshop works best in a casual, open-discussion format. I’ll share some of my experiences with you—what worked well, what didn’t—and would love to hear from you about your experiences so far, your concerns, etc. When we start building the tools, it’s important to share our work in the group to maximize learnings and discussion. If we have time, role playing mock interviews is great practice, so we’ll try fit this in. All will be done with the utmost respect, so please feel at ease!


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Workshop leader

Credit: Bassam Sabbagh
Carolyne Van Der Meer has 30 years of experience in PR and communications, more than 10 of which were spent in media strategy and media relations. She was an official spokesperson for several years, and has trained executives to speak to the media. Carolyne has also worked extensively as a journalist. She has three books to her credit: Motherlode: A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2014), Journeywoman (Inanna Publications, 2017) and Heart of Goodness: The Life of Marguerite Bourgeoys in 30 Poems | Du coeur à l’âme : La vie de Marguerite Bourgeoys en 30 poèmes (Guernica Editions, 2020). 

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