Scout Oath
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

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Mass Media

One proven method to bolster interest in Venturing is to use mass media. Who does not like to see their name every once in a while in the paper or on TV? This not only helps to boost crew spirit but helps to recruit more members and open doors to new opportunities.

For many people, public relations means cranking out press releases and firing them off to the local newspaper or radio or television station. Unfortunately, most of these releases end up at the bottom of the trash basket rather than the top of the news.

You can increase the chances of getting coverage for your story or event if you work to build relationships with reporters rather than snowing them with paper. Instead of sending out press releases and hoping the cameras will show up, target your media relations efforts by identifying reporters who cover stories like yours and pitch your ideas directly to them.

The first step is to find the right reporter. Remember that most journalists specialize in specific areas such as crime, entertainment, business, or sports. The best way to find out which reporters cover stories like yours is to watch the news and read the newspaper. Another good method is to search the online newspaper archives to see which reporters have covered Scouting.

Once you've identified a reporter, the next step is to prepare. Keep in mind that reporters get hundreds of press releases a day. Make it easy for them to cover your event by developing a story angle and producing a well-written press release to be sent if the reporter asks for more information. Be sure to also note background information about what is Venturing in the release. Unfortunatly many reporters when they think of Scouting will often only think about Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, but through positive media relations this can change for both reporters and society

When dealing with reporters:

  • Do respect their time. Remember that reporters are busy people. They live and die by deadlines, so don't call just before the news broadcast, or just before the paper goes to press.
  • Do make sure the story you're pitching is newsworthy. Ask yourself if the story is timely. Is it interesting? Is it visually exciting? If you weren't involved in Scouting, would this story be interesting to you?
  • Don't ask when your story is going to run.
  • Do prepare to sell your idea and to answer any questions the reporter may have about your story or event.
  • Do send thank-you notes for great coverage.

Remember that building media relationships is an ongoing effort. Like in business relationships, professional courtesy is a plus. Nurture the relationship with honesty and accessibility. By establishing these relationships, you become a trusted resource on Scouting for the news media in your community.