Working With the Media
Media coverage can create tremendous excitement for your workshops. A story in your local newspaper or on your local television or radio station can make your CreditSmart initiative a success and help raise the profile of your organization.
Identify Key News Outlets
To get the word out to your local media, you must first identify those reporters most likely to cover your story. When it comes to covering a CreditSmart initiative, reporters most likely interested would be those who cover business, real estate, personal finance, community, and nonprofit organizations. The ethnic media may also be an important vehicle for reaching your potential audience. Make a list of the publications or outlets important to your community and organization as a starting point.
Continue to Build a Relationship with the Press
As your campaign gets underway, continue to build your media relationships by contacting your list of reporters regularly. Here are some ways to get attention:
- Feature a success story of one or more participants buying their first home.
- Ask an elected official to participate in your press event or provide a quote.
- Focus on milestones such as attendance figures. (For example, announcing the 300th person to attend a workshop or celebrating 100 new homeowners could be newsworthy.)
Always Follow Up
After you send a news release (by e-mail, fax, or mail), you should follow up by phone with each reporter. It is usually best to call in the morning, since many reporters are on deadline in the afternoon. Ask if they would like to attend your workshops to do a story about your efforts to increase homeownership in your community. This is also an opportunity for them to hear from participants about the challenges they face.
Look for Ways to Engage
Offer to share with the media the materials from the CreditSmart curriculum or the opportunity to meet with representatives of your organization who share your commitment to this important effort. Ask an elected official to participate in your press event or to give a quote.
Media Relations Guidelines
- Freddie Mac asks that you provide the following boilerplate language in all press releases:
- The Freddie Mac CreditSmart initiative was designed to provide valuable information to consumers about building and maintaining good credit, understanding steps to buying a home, and protecting their investment. Recognizing that consumers seek information and assistance from lenders, community-based organizations, and other housing professionals, Freddie Mac developed CreditSmart as a tool to support the efforts of organizations that share its goal of creating better-equipped homeowners. Freddie Mac is one of the nation's largest mortgage investors.
- Please refer to your organization as a CreditSmart provider, not as a partner, associate, or as a "certified" participant or instructor.
- Press releases, public statements, and other media outreach related to the CreditSmart curriculum, materials, or workshops must mention Freddie Mac and must be reviewed and approved in advance by Freddie Mac. Please contact us for more information.