How to Start a National PR Conversation

Putting the NCJFCJ on the Map

Since 1937, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) has done significant work to improve the effectiveness of our nation’s juvenile and family courts. The organization is a leader in continuing education opportunities, research and policy development.

The NCJFCJ was looking for a strategic public relations partner to gain more awareness in their vast areas of work. KPS3 and the NCJFCJ set out to position the organization’s staff and members as subject matter experts and a leading resource in research, training, policy development and change in the fields of juvenile law, domestic relations and family violence.

Setting the Foundation

The first step was to lay the foundation for the organization so that we could pitch the appropriate topics based on what was relevant, respond in a timely and prepared manner to media requests, and have expert spokespeople lined-up to meet the needs of reporters on deadline. We outlined a process, communicated it internally and provided media training to the Board Members and select NCJFCJ staff so that they would be “at the ready” for interview requests.

In addition, we created and prepared our media lists by category and region, a one-page backgrounder and high-level talking points for each division and determined how we would manage and track our media metrics.

Constant is Key

As we were building the foundation, we set out to accomplish several key objectives: To garner national, regional and local coverage with media relations efforts; increase awareness of the NCJFCJ and their work; and position their staff and judicial members as experts in their fields of family violence, domestic relations and juvenile justice.

We set our focus on the following areas:

Be Proactive

We constantly monitored what was relevant in the news and who was covering what. We pitched with pertinent and timely content, and were a reliable resource to reporters. We had to remind ourselves to be patient, as not all national media outlets were developing stories in our area at the moment we contacted them. We wanted to be thought of as the go-to resource when they needed us.

Prioritize Accordingly

We didn’t take a shotgun approach, but reviewed and agreed to priority topics, and calendared them around what’s “hot” in the media and relevant with social issues. We created mini-plans around priority topics and challenged the team to create action items that were relevant and newsworthy at the time. The NCJFCJ’s plan included a major topic every two months, supported by smaller topics that arise from announcements, new work, publications and events.

Be Perceptive

We did our best to understand what reporters were looking for and writing about. We aimed to pitch with precision. We consistently followed-up with reporters that were writing about related material, and aimed to localize information as necessary with data and statistics. The effort was constant.

Results, Results, Results

In a short period of time, the NCJFCJ has garnered results in national, regional and local news outlets and has experienced a significant uptick in social media activity. They are seen as go-to experts in the fields of juvenile and family law, domestic violence, domestic child sex trafficking, indiscriminate juvenile shackling, victim trauma and sexual assault, foster care and adoption.

Highlights include coverage in major news outlets such as The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, USA Today, The New York Daily News, The Chicago Daily Tribune, MSN News, and CBS News. Statewide coverage includes the Reno Gazette-Journal, Vegas, Inc., The Las Vegas Review-Journal, KUNR, KTVN, KRNV, Reno News and Review and Ralston Live.

Through a coordinated effort in public relations, social media and web, content development and outreach, the NCJFCJ continues its momentum with this newfound focus on the power of media.

Key Results

  • Articles in more than 400 local, regional and national news outlets.
  • Commentary affecting public policy on issues such as domestic child sex trafficking and indiscriminate juvenile shackling.
  • Compared to the year prior, NCJFCJ’s website saw a 150% increase in resource and publication downloads.
  • Their website had a 400% increase in unique page views from the year before.
  • During this time period, the NCJFCJ’s Facebook reach saw a 3,000% increase from the same time period the year before.
  • NCJFCJ’s Twitter impressions nearly doubled during the same time period the year prior.

 

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