If you have participated in a Help-Portrait event before, you know that there are amazing stories to be shared throughout the day.  We’d love for you to be able to get those stories to a wider audience through the vehicles of your local news stations or newspapers.  Below are a few simple ideas to help promote your Help-Portrait event and share the power of a photo.

1. Write and service a press release that talks about the basic information of your event.  You can use the sample release here to begin.

2. Once you have your press release ready, find the right contacts in your area to make sure they have the release in their email inbox. You can find these contacts by looking online at the news sites – look for a newsroom contact or producer.  Also ask around in your community and your volunteers – you’d be surprised how many people know someone who knows someone that can help get the word out and on the news.

3. A few days before your event, send another reminder to the same contacts about the event with all of the basic info – you could also resend the original press release just as a reminder of the event coming up.  Many of the news outlets do not assign stories until the day before or day of the event – so do not be surprised if you don’t hear back from anyone.  Most of the time these things happen very last minute.

4. On the day of the event, if you get a minute in the morning, give a call to the newsdesk and just remind them you have this event happening and you’d love to have someone come cover it.  Be quick and specific – the person that is normally handling the phone at the newsdesk is in a hurry to grab your info and move onto the next call.

5. Since things happen last minute, make sure there is a cell phone number and contact that a reporter can reach on the day of your Help-Portrait event.  This person needs to have all of the important info on hand for when someone calls – such as:

  • Is there parking for our TV truck?
  • Can we film a family or individual going through the whole Help-Portrait process?
  • When should we arrive for the best subjects/ opportunities to tell a good story?
  • Where exactly is your venue located?
  • Do you have any local celebrities or well-known people attending your event?
  • How long will you be there today?

6. Also be sure to get a contact if they have called you so in case you don’t see them coming, and you need to reach out to them again have a phone number that you can reach that person.

7. A few other things to keep in mind if a media outlet attends your event:

  • Everyone that is filmed must sign a release form to know that they could possibly be on TV or in a Newspaper
  • You have a spokesperson on behalf of your local Help-Portrait team that can speak about what the event is and what it means to be a part of this worldwide event. You can look at the quick facts here for more info on Help-Portrait.

8. Keep in mind that having the media cover your event is secondary to what you are doing that day – it is just the icing on the cake if it happens.  We LOVE reading all of the stories that run across the globe, but what we love even more is knowing how many lives are being impacted on December 8th or whenever you hold your event.


–Lori Mahon