The Year - A seasonal exploration of the natural heritage of Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve

Tips for promoting your project

Tips for promoting your project

Getting the media to talk about your project is a great way of letting people know what you are doing with your grant. It also shows everyone how National Lottery players' money is being used.

When to announce your grant

  • As soon as you receive your grant notification letter you are free to announce the news
  • Once you have decided on an announcement date, please let us know

The press release

  • We have provided press release templates that include all the correct wording
  • Share your press release with your grants officer before you plan to send it out so we can approve it

Who should I contact?

  • Find out what media is available in your area
  • Approach journalists directly. Ask to speak to the news desk, or, in the case of radio and TV, the forward planning desk
  • Before you call, carefully plan what you are going to say. Journalists don’t have much time, so you need to grab their attention quickly
  • Make sure your press release is ready to go via email - pasted directly into the email body

Giving interviews

  • Sometimes you will be invited to do a media interview about your project
  • Agree in advance who the best person is from your organisation to do media interviews
  • Think about the three key points that you want to get across
  • Plan what you want to say but remain flexible so that you sound natural and enthusiastic.
  • You can always ask the journalist in advance what sort of questions they may ask
  • If it’s a radio interview, find out if it’s live or pre-recorded
  • Please let us know in advance if you have lined up any interviews as we can often offer someone to speak too
  • Remember to credit the National Lottery where appropriate during the interview

Getting visual

  • The media are always looking for interesting, high quality, eye-catching images to make their pages and the story come to life. Remember to send any good quality photos relating to the project alongside your press release
  • If there is a strong visual element to your project you could invite the local media to a photo call at your project (no big cheques or Lottery balls please!). Have your press release ready to hand out to journalists on the day of the photocall. Also don’t forget to share everything to anyone who couldn’t make it
  • Providing us with images of your project is an important condition of your grant award. It is good practice to send photos to us throughout the lifetime of your project
  • We have specific guidance on the photography of National Lottery-support projects

Keep the media posted

The media is often interested to know when a project has finished or a significant milestone has been reached – they like an opening or a finale event.

Try to get members of the public there, including local community/friends groups and schools, local celebrities, local MPs and any beneficiaries.

The more people you can find who think the project is brilliant, the better the media coverage you will probably get.

Contacting your MP

Don't forget that there may be strong local support to be gained by talking to politicians, local dignitaries or MPs.

  • Invite them to endorse your project within the press release through a quote, or get them involved in a photo call
  • See if your local MP is on Twitter and if so tweet at them with news of your project.
  • If your project has an opening or reception, consider inviting your local MP
  • We have a Government and Parliamentary Relations team that can assist you with this

Digital and social media

  • Don't forget to incorporate use of social media into your communications planning
  • We are more than happy to share your project information or event details. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
  • Our local offices use Twitter - so don’t forget to follow them too for local news, events, grants and heritage information
  • Make sure your website is up-to-date with the news and information
  • You could also set up a blog, a Flickr page or a Facebook page to help share your project's story

Dealing with criticism

In the current climate, large amounts of investment need to show clear public benefits, at a local level.

  • Always keep in mind local sensitivities when announcing your grant
  • Ensure that the name and the description of your project reflect what it will deliver, and that they don’t sound frivolous
  • Avoid announcing your grant at the same time as a major piece of local ‘bad’ news – such as job cuts or cuts to services

We are always on hand to provide advice on handling negative media coverage. There is usually an effective way to manage media stories if we work together.

Don't forget to keep in touch!

  • We’re always keen to hear about any key moments and events throughout your project's life span. We want to help you with promotion in whatever way we can
  • Please send us a final version of your press release for our records. Please also send all releases to your grants officer
  • Please share your project milestones, and what you've learnt along the way, in our Online Community