Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Media Mixer Meeting concept

I was reading an interesting book called "Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work--And Why Your Company Needs Them" by Peter Shankman and it gave me an idea to help promote Toastmasters ...

In the book, Peter talks about "adding value" and "being a resource" for a reporter before you ask them to write an article about you or your client.

One of the ways that he suggests to do that is to offer your expertise.

He has a great letter in the book where he states all the different things that he or his clients have done to show the scope of connections that he has and how it might be of value to a reporter.

Here is the idea for Toastmasters.... What if the VP-PR for a Toastmasters club invited a specific reporter (or other media contacts) to a "Media Mixer" event (i.e. a Toastmasters meeting) where the theme of the meeting is designed to showcase the experience and interests of all the Toastmasters members?

Obviously the reporter would see a Toastmasters meeting in action but they would also be introduced to a wide range of very interesting people who could give them material for many, many articles in the future.

The side benefit... Toastmasters would likely be mentioned in any of the stories that were printed or aired.

It probably would not hurt to have some good food and other incentives (like a REAL nice invitation with a personal follow up telephone call) to get the reporter(s) to the meeting, but it could plant some good publicity seeds... plus it would create personal connections between the Toastmasters club and someone in the media.

What do you think?

Leave a comment below !


Dorothea Stuart said...

Hi Dave
Making life easier for your local journalists is a very good idea! My club Riverside Communicators recently celebrated the 80th birthday of our oldest member, Jean Cooper, and the club's 10th anniversary. Jean was featured in the local paper's special birthday section. As a result of talking to the journalist our VP PR and his team also got a separate article about the club and a huge photo. This has helped get articles, photos and listings in other local magazines etc.

Look forward to hearing about the results of your PR activities.

Best wishes. Dorothea (Asst Division B Governor, District 71)

Dave Wheeler said...


That's a great example of how a good story can develop "legs" and spread to other publications.

We did something similar with one of my clubs when I got my DTM (and a couple other awards) last year.

Our VP-PR submitted an article to a small, local newspaper (my hometown) which got the attention of the larger, regional newspaper who did a much larger article in their "Lifestyles" or "Business" section (I forget which one).

Thanks for your comment and insights!

Good luck in Toastmasters this year !

Dave Wheeler
D53 LGM, 2008-9