Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Media is the Message

Local groups and agencies get insights from experts

By Sabine Mendez, Chilliwack Healthier Community


Paul Henderson lends advice to participants who gathered at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre to gain tips on effective media relations at a free, CHC workshop. Below, April Neave of Chilliwack Community Services talks with Mike Hellinger (centre) and Paul Henderson after the media workshop sponsored by Chilliwack Healthier Community on June 4


shoestring budget leaves most non-profits and community organizations with little money for marketing, so how do they tell their story?


That's the challenge faced by more than two dozen groups whose representatives attended a media workshop organized by Chilliwack Healthier Community (CHC) on Thursday, June 4, in the Neighbourhood Learning Centre at Chilliwack Secondary School.


Writing a good press release and knowing when to do so was just one facet of news media relations covered by three local experts who shared their advice: Mike Hellinger of StarFM, Paul Henderson of the Chilliwack Times, and Darren McDonald with University of the Fraser Valley.


The free program, sponsored by Chilliwack Community Services, attracted a variety of agencies to gain a myriad tips from the trio, and using social media was a hot topic of discussion. Another subject was how to do a radio interview, and ready or not most in attendance had been "on the air" at one time or another.


Participants' questions lasted almost as long as the experts' presentation.


CHC, which is a network of 36 local partners focused on affordable/accessible housing, mental health, public safety and healthy lifestyles. Partners include government, community agencies, law enforcement and business.



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