Financial Literacy Publicity Guide

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360 Degrees of Financial Literacy

Generating publicity is an efficient, cost-effective way to raise public awareness of the importance of financial literacy while enhancing your visibility in the community. There are many ways to publicize financial literacy presentations, events and activities.

Local News Outlets

You may know media representatives in your community and can use your relationship with them to encourage financial literacy coverage. If not, it isn’t difficult  to develop a list of local newspapers, radio and television stations. Many libraries have media directories (such as Bacon’s), which include addresses, phone numbers, names of editors or producers, and circulation or broadcast information. The local phone directory is a good resource for locating news outlets. Community news or “free” papers also are considered media outlets and often feature community events. 

Press Releases

Press releases are bulletins that provide general information about a specific topic or an upcoming event, such as a financial literacy speech or community presentation. Check your local newspaper Web sites. Many papers accept e-mails or faxes announcing local community events. They generally prefer at least three weeks notice before the event. A sample press release, which can be customized to fit your needs, is included in this section.

Outlets for news releases include:

  • Daily and weekly newspapers

  • Sunday newspaper supplements

  • Chamber of commerce newsletters

  • Local lifestyle magazines

  • Newsprint shopping guides

  • Community newsletters (hospitals, retirement communities, etc.)

  • Library bulletin boards

  • Health club newsletters

  • Church bulletins

Creating Your Own Press Release

A press release should always include the five W’s: Who, What, When, Where and Why.

The spokesperson or contact’s name and phone number should appear in the upper right corner of the release.

Date the release and include the city and state to indicate when and where the release was issued.

The content/copy/text should be double-spaced

At the bottom of each page, indicate if there is more copy by typing (-more-) or if the release has ended, type (# # #) at the bottom.

Click here to download a sample press release.

News Articles

Certain media outlets will run news articles submitted to them versus assigning staff to write a story about an issue or topic. 

Sample articles are included in this section of the guide for you to consider using. You may wish to add quotes from an appropriate spokesperson and expand on the contents in the samples. Placing the association’s name and the spokesperson’s name in the text of the article will customize the samples.

Using news articles can help promote local speaking engagements or events.  For example, submitting an article on How to Weather a Financial Setback could help publicize an upcoming small businesses financial literacy presentation . Please note. These articles are not to be published under an individual FICPA member’s name, implying authorship. Rather, the AICPA and FICPA should be cited as sources of the information.

To increase the likelihood that articles actually will be picked up by the media, it’s best to send a brief letter or email to community affairs editors informing them that April is Financial Literacy Month (designated by the US Senate).  Explain that the articles you are submitting  were prepared as a public service to the community. Follow up with a call to the editor to determine if and when the articles might be placed, or whether more information is needed.

Click here to download a sample news article.

Public Service Announcements

Public service announcements are brief descriptions of programs and events aired primarily by broadcasting local radio stations. They typically are read on-air by an announcer or host and are broadcast without charge. Consequently, stations schedule them at their own discretion. Sample PSA scripts are included in this guide for use by local radio stations.

To submit a PSA to a radio station, type the script on business stationery, inserting the organization name (and spokesperson if there is one). Send the script to public service directors at local radio stations. It is good practice to follow up with a letter or call to the station to get an idea of the broadcast date.

Another venue for publicity is local TV programs with talk shows, call-in programs or special features, such as consumer interest spots. Generally, send the show’s producer, program director and/or the host information about your financial literacy topics and offer a spokesperson.

Click here to download a sample public service announcement.