When most folks think of media relations they think the challenge is about getting TV crews out to an event. But that’s when you’re just getting started.

Media relations also is about making sure you have quality visuals and spokespersons ready for a quality news segment. We consult with our nonprofit organization clients before we send out any media advisory, asking questions like:  What are our visuals? Who are our spokespeople? What set-up do we need to have in place? What are our messages?

Recently, we invited FOX10 Arizona Morning, the #1 morning news in town, to come out to United Food Bank to cover “Stuff the Bus,” an annual effort by Williams Field High School students to fill an entire school bus with canned goods and deliver them to United Food Bank for the holidays. Now in its seventh year, the high school students compete to see which class can gather the most donations and the winning class gets to go to United Food Bank warehouse to empty the bus.

Though the students and bus arrived early that morning, we made sure the food donations remained on the bus until the live shot. All the students were in place – some of them inside to hand food out the window; others outside the bus to receive the items and place them in collection boxes that were located all around the bus. This positioning allowed for a dynamic segment, with Cory, the hugely popular meteorologist/reporter about town, bringing his energy and experience to make lively, outstanding live segments. He was able to circle all around the “stuffed” bus, interacting with the students and stopping at various points to talk to spokespeople.

Remember, getting the media to cover your story is only half the battle. If you want them to continue covering your organization in the future, make sure they can count on well-planned visuals and resources to tell the story well.

You can watch the resulting segments here.