US Sailing has a national promotion plan for USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals. Here you’ll find suggestions that will help you develop your own local promotion plan. With both these plans in place, media coverage should be very favorable.
How US Sailing Promotes Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals
- US Sailing’s national promotion plan includes a national Junior Olympic Sailing electronic poster distributed via email to yacht clubs and junior program directors nationwide
- JO Season Preview news release sent to national and local media contacts and class associations
- Social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram)
- Animoto videos — send via text to JO participants
- US Sailing website including JO calendar and results
- E-USSailing and the Quarterdeck (electronic newsletters)
- Emails sent directly to US Sailing youth and family members, and certified instructors and coaches in your area.
How You Can Promote Your Junior Olympic Sailing Festival
- Assign your promotion person and JO webmaster early.
- Find a savvy young person to head up your social media effort.
- Include @USSailing and the annual JO hashtag (#gojo17) in your posts.
- Share event photos with US Sailing and receive an Animoto video to push out to participants.
- Post your event on local, regional and national sailing calendars (e.g., Scuttlebutt)
- Send information to yacht clubs in your area via your Regional Sailing Association.
The three basic musts to working the media is:
- Sell human interest
- Learn to be quotable
- Follow up, follow up, follow up!
- Get to know a sportswriter If possible, meet with them personally
- Don’t forget the “lifestyles” pages; sailing news isn’t only sports-oriented.
- Offer a junior sailor for an interview.
- Write well; if your news release can be used verbatim, it has a better chance.
- Provide captions with all photo, include names of people pictured.
- Give out your cell phone number; reporters don’t keep 9-5 hours.
- Provide all media with rosters (include first & last names, hometowns, sail numbers; & ages if possible) so reporters/photographers can ID kids easily.
- Public service announcements (PSAs) are free; keep them short (see sample PSA)
- Try to get guest spot on sports show (a junior sailor could be interviewed)
- Give 2-3 weeks lead time
- Give great directions to the event site
- Cater to the crew
- They want action and sound bites
- Brief competitors re. talking on camera
Your Media Kit
Give them what they need; don’t overwhelm them. Be sure to include: event name, site, dates; “Media Kit” w/ color photo or JO logo. In addition to:
- Very brief note or bulleted memo (why newsworthy) w/ contact name & phone
- Schedule of events/activities: What, where, when, w/ contact name & phone
- Map; participants’ info; classes of boats; brief history of your event
- Junior Olympic Sailing Facts (see Additional Resources)
- Sailing Demographics (see Additional Resources)
- Your Pre-Event News Release (see Additional Resources)
- Junior Olympic Sailing logo (camera-ready)
- Create an exciting JO webpage that is prominent on your club’s website.
- Compile list of local media (contacts & titles, email, deadlines).
- Make initial contacts.
- Advertise by using the PSA (public service announcement).
- Consider publishing an event program.
- Assemble a media kit (see “Working with the Media”).
- Try to schedule appearances at community service clubs, schools.
- Invite media to interview a junior sailor who has a love for sailing, either novice or experienced sailor, a human-interest story.
- Distribute posters to local businesses. Write 1st news release w/ your contact info (see sample press release)
- Distribute release to newspaper, magazine calendars; radio and TV
- Print a program
- Send invitations to local/state civic and business leaders; follow up! (Get them excited & involved in the event.)
- Recruit press and photo boats (photo boats need to get in closer)
- Hire a professional photographer to “shoot” sailors on the water and sell photos to interested sailors/parents. In return, provide the film and ask him/her to shoot event photos for your use. Everyone wins.
- Write a 2nd news release with basics plus info on expected competitors. Otherwise, email release to media.
- Email media kits, and follow up with call – “Did you know there’s a Junior Olympic Sailing event in your area next week?”
- Call media again; urge attendance with photo crew, offer interview.
- Appoint someone to assist press; final check of press/photo boats.
- Keep list of all attending press.
- Greet press with media kits, including complete roster/scratch sheet.
- Before press leaves site, give them results (or arrange to email them later that day).
- Send link to results and post-event news release to all local media within 12 hours of event completion.
- Send media documentation (newspaper articles, TV clips, etc.) to US Sailing as soon as possible.
- Document all publicity received, including circulation/audience size.