Re: NYTimes on Cohousing and impact on CRN!
From: Tiffany Lee Brown (magdalen23gmail.com)
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2016 16:41:02 -0700 (PDT)
As a sometimes journalist, I might be able to offer some helpful hints. 

1) be timely. When you are trying to get media to pay attention to your 
project, frame it in such a way that there is, or appears to be, a time factor. 
For example, "people like cohousing" is not a story the journalist can sell to 
her editor. However, depending on the market in question, "baby boomers 
entering retirement seek community in housing in record numbers in 2016" is a 
story. "We are having another cohousing conference this year" is not a story. 
"Kanye West tweeted about one of our cohousing members this month; we will 
discuss this and more at our annual cohousing conference" is a story.

2) Creatively contextualize the role of cohousing, or your particular event or 
community, in the larger culture. This can take the form of blatantly trying to 
ride on trends; it's really best to have very little shame about things like 
this, if you want to get ink for your project. The Boomer retirement issue is a 
long trend that will need lots of fun, new stuff to cover. Tiny house TV is 
popular; if your community offers something for tiny house dwellers, lead with 
that in your PR. For local stories, go with something timely and remember that 
the media likes good pictures. So your community is having a booth at the local 
street fair? OK, yawn. How about: your community is sponsoring free face 
painting for the kids at your booth, and you get someone good to do it, and 
photograph their work a few weeks ahead of time so you can include an adorable, 
face-paint kid photo with your PR... ? Now we have a story. Integrate your PR 
efforts with the rest of your community outreach and activities.

3) Target your journalist and their markets (writerspeak for the publications 
for whom that writer writes). Do your research. Most of the PR I have received 
in my 25-year writing and editing career has been inappropriate for me. It is a 
waste of my time. Show that you care enough about your story, and the 
journalist or publication, to pitch something relevant to them. Sending PR to 
the AARP? Quote Joan Baez in it, use statistics relevant to retirees. Sending 
PR to a local alternative weekly? Open with a snarky paragraph and quote a 
local DJ. And build relationships with these writers. Don't expect them to 
magically find your press release among the 4,000 they received in email today.

4) Format things the way your targeted media outlet likes them to look. Go find 
out what that format is. Always include the essential who, what, where, how, 
and why within the first two grafs. Do not make your journalist sweat to find 
information! Most of the time, most of us are not on deep stories with a 
research budget. Most of the time we are cranking out random stuff. Take 
advantage of this. Make your PR very easy to turn into a "story".

5) Hire a professional. Some folks build their own houses; most of us hire a 
contractor. A lot more people attempt to do their own marketing, 
communications, and PR... But they're about as qualified to do the job as I am 
to build you a house. 

Hope these are helpful!


Tiffany
Writer, Editor, and Sometimes Marketing Hack

Sent from the far shores of a distant land

> On Sep 21, 2016, at 12:05 PM, Alice Alexander <alicecohous [at] gmail.com> 
> wrote:
> 
> 
> Yes, good points from Neil and Katie. We do have the State of Cohousing in
> the US "white paper," which provides good stats and quotes and profiles our
> values, etc, and even links to the 2011 survey, with a sampling of finds.
> 
> But we could indeed work to create something more appealing, more human
> story related. (I'm open to advice here....)
> 
> One challenge is getting journalists to care. Nine times out of ten when I
> share the State of Cohousing, journalists don't read - they just want to
> talk with me and get a quote or two. Courney Martin is a marvelous
> exception with a well researched and thoughtful article.
> Alice Alexander, Coho/US Executive Director
> 
> On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 1:13 PM, Kathryn McCamant <
> kmccamant [at] cohousing-solutions.com> wrote:
> 
>> 
>> Good point Neal.  The NY Times articles was one of the best I seen at
>> incorporating recent research along with very human anedotetal stories
>> about why people value cohousing.  What is the best way to get such
>> information to journalist? Is there someone who has these stats easily at
>> hand, or is there write up of “interesting cohousing facts” that pulls out
>> easy to quote facts, with footnotes to the studies the info came out of?
>> 
>> Katie
>> --
>> Kathryn McCamant, President
>> CoHousing Solutions
>> T.530.478.1970  C.916.798.4755
>> 
>> www.cohousing-solutions.com
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On 9/20/16, 5:48 PM, "Cohousing-L on behalf of Neil Planchon"
>> <cohousing-l-bounces+kmccamant=cohousing-solutions.com [at] cohousing.org on
>> behalf of neil [at] swansway.com> wrote:
>> 
>> Thanks Sharon for sharing NYT article.  And to Raines for bringing it
>> directly to our team’s attention today.  And to Kate and Courtney too.
>> Appreciate you all :)
>> -=-=
>> 
>> I want to acknowledge and surface Angela’s and Heidi’s contributions to
>> the article - both super wonderful individuals and committed Cohousing
>> Research Network (CRN) researchers and teammates.  Thank you — Go team go!
>> 
>> Fun Fact:  As a result of all this buzz, (so far) 329 folks came to visit
>> our Web site TODAY!  A record for us :)
>> 
>> Learn more about CRN here http://www.cohousingresearchnetwork.org
>> 
>> Cordially,
>> Neil
>> Swan's Market Cohousing - Founding Resident - http://www.swansway.com
>> Cohousing Research Network - Core Team & Communications - http://www.
>> cohousingresearchnetwork.org
>> 
>> Life's most persistent and urgent question is, "What are you doing for
>> others?" Martin Luther King, Jr.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> _________________________________________________________________
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>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> _________________________________________________________________
>> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
>> http://www.cohousing.org/cohousing-L/
> 
> 
> -- 
> Alice Alexander
> Executive Director
> http://www.cohousing.org
> [image: The Cohousing Association]
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
> http://www.cohousing.org/cohousing-L/
> 
> 

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