Publicity - What makes this news?
Sport is a vehicle for positive social change. Teams bring together people from diverse backgrounds that work together toward a common goal. This common goal also brings together students, administrators, faculty, and community members who fill the stands.
Your student-athletes represent more than just themselves. They represent the mission of your school and are considered to be role models in the classroom, on the field and in the community. This is all “good news” and National STUDENT-Athlete Day is the time to promote the positive attributes of your student-athletes.
Student-athletes who are honored on National STUDENT-Athlete Day have all earned at least a 3.0 G.P.A. or above (B average and higher) and are committed to working in the community. Understand that this special story dispels common misconceptions about student-athletes.
Social media is a great place to start. Utilize your school’s website, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to promote what is happening during competition. Include projects being done in the community and academic achievements of your student-athletes. If your school has a Facebook or Twitter account start posting information about special projects along with pictures and quotes from those who benefit from community service work.
High school sporting events are covered by campus and community newspapers, radio outlets and local TV stations. They are a great network to have when promoting your National STUDENT-Athlete Day celebration. Anything they include online can be linked directly to your own website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. The story works best with reporters and editors who cover education, sports, city, and community stories. Contact your Sports Information Office to assist with this process or to provide media contact lists.
How to get your story heard:
- Send a media alert via email a week in advance that lists clearly what the event is, who is involved, and when and where it is taking place, so that reporters will have a set time to attend and take pictures. This is a start to developing working relationships with contacts.
- Two days prior to the event send an official press release to the contact reminding them of the event. If you are promoting a specific sports team or student-athlete, attaching some pictures is also helpful.
- Bring media packets that include copies of the media alert and press release to the site. Also include a separate information sheet about the program and National STUDENT-Athlete Day.
Sample Press Release
Date: __________ Contact & Phone: __________
(NAME OF SCHOOL) __________ CELEBRATES NATIONAL-STUDENT ATHLETE DAY
CITY, STATE – April 6, 2015 marks the 28th annual celebration of National STUDENT-Athlete Day. National STUDENT-Athlete Day honors student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics, while making significant contributions in the community. While events will be taking place around the country, (name of your school) will be honoring the achievements of our own outstanding student-athletes. _________. (First paragraph should close with the “who, what, when, where” of your institution’s activities. Describe the planned event as a series of concise, newsworthy facts.)
National STUDENT-Athlete Day honors student-athletes and the network of parents, coaches, teachers and school systems that make it possible for young people to strike a balance between academic and athletic achievement and who use sport as a vehicle for positive social change. The day, established by the National Consortium for Academics & Sports, is co-sponsored by the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
Richard Lapchick, Director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society, said “Sport is a powerful tool for making positive social change. Sports' greatest ambassadors are our student-athletes. National STUDENT-Athlete Day honors those young men and women who have achieved excellence. Having honored over 3.8 million student-athletes since 1997, that is a true testament to the leadership that sport has brought to young people.” (Add quotations; a press release is a great opportunity for your school president and/or director of athletics to be quoted congratulating those who are being honored.)
Publicity within Your School
Many student-athletes are recognized only for their efforts on the playing field. Similarly, the efforts of academic support staff including advisors, tutors, and coaches are virtually unknown.
This is a great opportunity for your campus to hear about the academic and community service achievements of your student-athletes, the efforts of the support staff who work with them, and your institutional commitment to the ideals of National STUDENT-Athlete Day.
What can you do?
Choose a variety of methods to communicate to your entire school:
- Social Media
- Special school-wide announcements each morning
School-wide email including faculty and staff
- Posters throughout campus
- Articles in campus papers
- Interviews on campus radio
What should be said?
- Explain the goal of the communication: “National STUDENT-Athlete Day is America’s Day to recognize the academic and community achievements of student-athletes.” Give examples of outreach and community service programs that your student-athletes are involved in.
- Explain your involvement as a member of the NCAS and how National STUDENT-Athlete Day is one part of a larger community providing outreach service during the year by your student-athletes.
- Describe the activities your institution has planned.
- List names of student-athletes and/or support staff being honored and why they were selected.
Faculty, staff and students at your school will understand the achievements of your student-athletes in the classroom and the commitment they have made in the community.