Working with the media
We can support you to promote your unit through the media
Communications and PR Advisers are here to help you work with the media
You and the girls in your unit do incredible things every week. Working with the media can be a great way to raise awareness about your unit, celebrate achievements and provide girls with a platform to speak out about the issues they care about.
Whatever you want to promote through the media, your local communications and PR (CRPA) volunteers are there to help. Start by contacting them.
When a journalist calls
If someone from the local or national media contacts you, there's no need to panic. Simply make sure you do the following.
- Take your time - it's easy to feel pressured when a journalist puts you on the spot, but remember you never have an obligation to speak with the media, it's always your choice. No matter how urgent the issue seems, or how rushed the journalist may be, give yourself time to think it through.
- Take notes - ask for a journalist's name, the publication, phone number and email address. Ask for a clear outline of the story they would like to cover, exactly what they would like from you - maybe a comment, information, photos or a visit to your unit - and what deadline they're working to.
- Is it a crisis? - if you believe the journalist's story could in any way harm the reputation of Girlguiding, your individual unit, a volunteer or member, we consider it a 'media crisis'. In a crisis you must contact the Girlguiding Press Office immediately. Our team is available 24 hours to give you support.
- Contact your local CPRA - for every story - positive and negative - it's important that your local CPRA knows about it. They can help you decide the best course of action, talk through your response and help you maximize the impact of a media opportunity.
- Put girls first - girls and young women are the voice Girlguiding. Whenever possible, they represent us as spokeswomen and share their thoughts and experiences. Whenever an opportunity arises, consider if there's a way you could support one of your girls to speak out in the media. Your CPRA can help you to do this and ensure you follow the right consent procedures.
We are always on the look out for great stories. Share your story with Girlguiding HQ or contact your local adviser if your unit has done something great or unusual and you think others should know about it. Remember what we think of as 'just normal guiding' can be amazingly inspiring to others.
What to do in a crisis
Don't hesitate to get in touch with the PR team at HQ if you're worried about anything in your area of guiding that might affect Girlguiding's reputation. It's important that we know about it before the media, so we can respond quickly and in the right way if a journalist does get in touch, and support everyone involved.