If you are a planning a Press Day, or a travel writer or local reporter is coming to visit, prepare a packet of information about your facility.
Here are some ideas about what to include:
1. All of your printed brochures. This may include rack cards, tour maps, membership forms, volunteer applications, etc.
2. Current flyers for at least the next three months of exhibits, programs and special events. Place the flyers in the folder in chronological order, starting with your next event.
3. Current press releases, again for at least the next three months. Include as much information about each event as you can.
4. A Schedule of Events for as far into the future as you can project. Even if it only includes basic information like the name, date and place, at least you can let the reporter know what you’re planning. This is particularly important for publications with advanced deadlines, such as monthly or quarterly magazines. Include opening and closing dates for temporary exhibitions for the next 12 months and tentative dates for anything planned beyond that.
5. Compile a flash drive or CD full of photos the media can use when writing a story about your museum. Include behind-the-scenes photos of exhibit installations or volunteers preparing for a special event. Add photos of annual events from previous years that can be used to promote future events. Make sure the files are organized in a logical and easy to find format. Rename all photo files so they reflect exactly what they are. Include a caption list in each folder so the reporter can easily identify each photo. Don’t forget to include “stock photos” of your museum building and permanent exhibits that can be used any time.
6. Add your press releases to the flash drive or CD. The easier you make it for a busy reporter, the greater the chances of seeing your events in print. They can cut and paste your information into their stories without having to retype it.
7. Compile a list of potential story ideas. Highlight interesting artifacts and photographs, a particularly interesting oral history, or a profile of a special volunteer. Include photos of the artifacts and scans of the archival images on your flash drive or CD.
8. Make a quick fact sheet with basic bulleted points about your institution, including the year you were founded, annual visitation, number of paid staff and volunteers, size of your building and property, hours, admission prices and contact information.