Publicity for your EventsFreemasonry is not a secret society
Publicity is our window to public perception of Freemasonry and to attracting new members
There are always stories waiting to be found
What is news?
- Triumph over adversity
- Association with a celebrity
What is not news?
- Fifty years of attendance at meetings
- Presentation of cheques
- A story only of interest to those who participated
- Concentration on the giver, not the recipient
- Generally anything with Freemasonry as the subject
The three steps for event publicity...
Ensure someone is responsible for publicity
Plan - arrange for a photographer and pre-plan photos (involve recipients)
Find a hook which would interest local media and contact them about it (but don't rely solely on the media)
Seize good photo opportunities – concentrate on action photos
Value of a professional photographer
Remember “Action” not “Satisfaction”
Get names for captions
If media comes ensure they are looked after and opportunities are set up
Be prepared for the tricky questions
Act quickly to spread the word
Send press release, focussing on the newsworthy, to local media
Send the story to Freemasons New Zealand national office
Maintain a continuing relationship with community media
Example: V.W.Bro. J.D.Smith P.G.Lec. PM versus VWBro John Smith
Drop the title after the first reference.
Refer to Lodge No. only once in an article.
What makes a good story?
- A unique angle - why should this be national news?
- A text, with supporting photos and captions, with a news angle
- Quotations from participants.
- Concentration on the recipients rather than the worthy Masons
What does not make a good story?
- The presentation of a cheque
- Straight text – with nothing quotable
- A story with no illustrations
- Presentation of a 50/60/70 year award without a back story to give wider reader appeal
The BackstoryInstead of focusing on the presentation of a cheque - Get interesting facts about the recipient/s and what the money achieved
50/60/70 year Awards - "The life story" angle. Old black and white or sepia photos may not be good quality but they convey a sense of history even if they are a recent picture.
What makes a good photo?
- Action shots
- The subject standing out from the background
- Meaningful captions
- Not always as it seems
The following photos all involved the presentation of a cheque...
What doesn't make a good photo?
- Grin and grip line ups
- Standing rigidly to attention
- Photos taken against the light
- Low resolution images
Tips when taking photos
- Try different angles
- Be conscious of the background
- Take lots of photos at the time of an event - you can always go back and delete the bad quality ones
Please do not send photos embedded in a word document - jpg or png only