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What to do for a Kickoff Event

  • Plan an event to celebrate the start (or continuation) of the FCA program.
  • Tie the kickoff to newsworthy happenings, such as a fishing competition or an announcement of the results of a major study.
  • Tie into community events, such as sporting events, e.g., fishing competitions, church activities, shopping mall promotions, or holiday happenings.
  • Work with partner organizations to fund events that the target audience already participates in and that have broad media interest [Note: the responsible agency may also choose a form of media involvement that is lower key].
  • To enhance media coverage of the kickoff event, consider the following:
    • Create a news “hook” or angle that makes the event newsworthy.
    • Include the development of media kits in the checklist for tracking pre-event, event, and post-event activities. The checklist may also include room arrangements, speakers, expenditures, refreshments, transportation, equipment, and follow-up actions.
    • Inform the media of the event in a timely way. If the agency issuing the FCA wishes them to attend, ask about their schedules, if possible, to avoid holding an event that conflicts with other media activities. Conflicts might prevent media coverage.
    • Include specialized media, such as community newspapers, cable TV stations, radio, fish or human health-related publications (the trade press), foreign-language publications or broadcast media, and partner organization’s publications. These media may have a greater incentive to use the story than general newspapers or regular TV stations, and they can ensure an audience at a press conference if the mainstream media do not show up.
    • Launch activities in multiple locales on the same date to make them more newsworthy.
    • Invite spokespeople who support the program and who may attract media interest.
    • Hold the event in a location that is connected to the message and involves members of the target audience. This might be near where people fish or at a grocery store where fish are sold. Make sure the location has sufficient space for the media and their equipment.