Working with your local media is an effective way to increase awareness of your fatherhood program, recruit fathers, and reach funders. The goal of this work is to not only recruit fathers to participate in your program but also reach potential partners and donors. Media includes print media (newspapers, newsletters, etc.), participating in online or on-air radio or TV interviews, inviting well-known media personalities to talk about your program, paying for public service announcements on radio or TV, and offering to be a resource to local media on the topic of fatherhood.
Tips & Best Practices
Tips for programs who plan to highlight their program during an interview:
- Before an interview: Understand the particular media source or reporter’s perspective. Know what angle they are likely to take. Also, if possible, request interview questions in advance if possible. When not possible, anticipate questions and rehearse the key points you want to get across.
- During an interview: Be brief, concise, and honest. Remember that nothing is off the record.
- For on-camera interview: Dress appropriately. Ask what the dress code is before the interview takes place. Avoid white clothing or loud patterns. Look at the interviewer, not at the camera.
- For additional tips on working with local media to promote local programs, consult this webinar.
This Responsible Fatherhood Media Toolkit, presented by the Ad Council offers Fatherhood Programs tips for increasing the reach of Public Service Announcements, printable materials, and social media assets. It also provides helpful talking points and tips for engaging with PSA Directors, a list of Do’s and Don’ts for effective interviews, and responses to potential reactions to fatherhood campaigns. Resources include tips like calling the media around Father’s Day, preparing a campaign packet for in-person meetings, developing a list of media targets, and a sample NRFC Fatherhood Proclamation to assist in highlighting Responsible Fatherhood in your local communities.
How can I avoid saying something that backfires during an interview?
Most programs hire a designated communications/public relation person who serves as the main media point of contact . This person should be highly trained and up-to-date on your program’s mission, programs, and communications strategies. All staff should talk with their media point of contact prior to the interview about any potential pitfalls or refer media requests to this person.
What should I focus on talking about during an interview?
Focus on describing your program’s services and how they help fathers. Emphasize these key messages at every opportunity. Also, any examples of real stories and participants (whether anonymous or not) paints a story for the listener.
What are some tips for good body language during on-camera interviews?
Use natural gestures and facial expressions. Do not force large smiles or exaggerate expressions beyond what you normally do. Avoid fidgeting with your hands and legs.