Enjoy this guest blog from public relations expert and Nuru volunteer, Frances Freyberg:

By now, you’ve spent a lot of time getting your school or city center ready for your Be Hope to Her event…recruiting participants, developing your route and planning your rally. Together, our goal is to raise awareness of the need for clean drinking water in Africa, and to raise actual funds to support the sustainable projects of Nuru International in Kuria, Kenya. As volunteer PR Coordinator for Be Hope to Her, my job is to help you use your local media (newspapers, radio and TV stations) effectively to spread the word about your events.

As you walk together with bright yellow buckets on your heads, you can expect to draw a crowd. People will want to know what you’re doing, and why…and that’s exactly what we want. Raising awareness is what this event is all about. But, what about all those people who were in class while you walked through campus, or who were across town at their jobs and weren’t able to come see or participate in the event? We want to be sure to reach them too. The best way to share your message with a large group of people is through your local media.

Everyone loves a good story, and Be Hope to Her is one of the best in terms of media interest. It’s about local students getting involved and making a difference at an international level. It’s about coming together with other community members from across the country (and even outside of the country!) to educate the public about the need for clean drinking water. It’s about bringing hope to women of the developing world, and raising funds that will ultimately make their lives better through sustainable solutions. And to top it all off, it’s a great visual story. Hundreds of people carrying buckets on their head makes for a terrific photo or video opp.

So, you’ve got all the elements for a good story right at your finger tips. What do you do next?

Each campus should now have a PR lead who has received the BH2O+ Communications Kit and had an initial brainstorm conversation with me. If your campus hasn’t taken that step yet, please get in touch ASAP. It’s not too late to make a big splash with your event. For those campuses who are already reaching out to your media contacts, keep up the great work! From now until your event, your job is all about follow-up: making sure that media are coming to cover the event, or if they can’t attend, sending them the information they need (such as press release, FAQ and photos) to write a story.

Media relations can be a lot of work – you’ll be emailing and calling reporters, and scrambling to get them the information they need quickly. But there’s a huge payoff, and that’s seeing your event reach far beyond your campus and the people who came to your rally. It’s seeing your story in print or on the evening news, and realizing that you’ve helped educate tens (or hundreds!) of thousands of people about your cause. So, when someone tells you they saw you in the paper or on TV, be ready to tell them all about Be Hope to Her!