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WBCCI Member’s Press Kit

Unit and Region Officers, public relations volunteers, and rally hosts: Welcome to the WBCCI member’s press kit!

It’s important to inform local reporters about our club and events. Through the news media, we can attract potential members, build goodwill in the WBCCI regions and in the communities we visit during rallies and caravans, and educate the public about the history of Wally Byam and our American-made Airstreams.

The tips and materials in this kit are provided to help you attract positive attention to the WBCCI through local press coverage of Unit and Region events.

Follow these steps to build relationships, share your news, and position the WBCCI as a trusted resource for information about Airstreaming.

You may need files from the Complete PR Kit to create your campaign so download it now.

Name Date File size Hits    
Complete PR Kit Date **2013-03- Filesize 862.74 KB Download 511


1. Identify media outlets, reporters, and their audiences.

Build a media list of television, radio, newspapers, newsletters, and magazines that you’ll want to share your news with near your Unit home base and in the locations of your rallies and other events. Remember to include the growing list of travel and RV websites and bloggers.

To find daily newspapers, visit the US Newspaper List  or simply search Google  for all media outlets. The Cision (Bacon’s) Media Directory and the Writer’s Market can be accessed at your local library (or you can subscribe for a fee).

On your list, include:

  • Outlet name
  • Type of media (TV, radio, newspaper, etc.)
  • Broadcast call letters, channel, network affiliate, etc.
  • Publication day(s)
  • Content deadlines
  • Address
  • Main phone number, and sometimes fax number
  • Description (general news, Spanish language, outdoor, business, music and talk, etc.)
  • Contact (reporters and editors)
  • Contact title
  • Contact email address
  • Contact social media address(es)—Twitter name, etc.
  • Best method and time for contacting them

All of the names of reporters and producers who cover community news, local columnists, feature writers, and on-air reporters and personalities can be found on the news outlet’s website (look for tabs labeled “anchors and reporters”, “personalities”, “contact the news teams”, etc.) or in a printed publication’s staff box. If you need help, simply call the main phone number and ask for the name you’re looking for.

Newspapers
Familiarize yourself with the daily, weekly, neighborhood, and niche market newspapers in your target area.

Daily newspapers usually publish in metropolitan areas and sometimes circulate additions tailored to local subregions. They are typically divided into distinct sections: national news, local news, features, editorials, columns, opinion editorials (op eds), letters to the editor, and special weekly sections about health, travel, green living, parenting, or other topic. Learn the names of the reporters and editors of all the areas of the newspaper (and the photography staff), what their beat is, and how they might want to cover your story.

Include the city editor, editorial page editor, columnists who have an interest in community events, writers for the community calendar and/or community events page, and photo editor. Your large metro daily paper will provide an email address for submitting news directly to the newsroom staff.

Weekly papers are similar in format but stories will have longer lead times. Weeklies often target small towns, neighborhoods, and niche audiences. Learn how often they are published, and who they reach.

Magazines
Magazines focus on stories with more detail, angled to their audience. Be familiar with the magazines published in your region and identify those that would be most receptive to WBCCI programs and activities. Add relevant national magazines and trade publications to your list, and don’t forget the Blue Beret!

Television
Television is the media vehicle with the furthest reach. Identify the affiliate stations of national network news (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and NPR). Learn the audiences and reporters for each. Don’t forget locally-produced morning and weekend shows.

Determine who the local cable providers are; some communities have their own local cable news networks.

Add the names of the assignment editors who plan the stories, news editors, producers, reporters and on-air personalities, and producers of specific shows including morning shows, community programs, minority-positioned news and public affairs programs.

Your nationally-affiliated station will have an email address especially for submitting news that’s monitored by the newsroom assignment editors or staff. Look online and find the “send us your news tip”, “hotline”, “submit press releases” or “sharing your news” information for addresses and instructions.

Radio
Though there are more radio stations today than ever before, many belong to a national radio broadcasting company. Most still provide local news and information, and all tailor their programming to a specific audience.

Determine the area radio station formats and audiences, especially those that include talk radio and news segments.

Public affairs programs—radio and TV shows designed to take an in-depth look at community news—usually involve interviews and can be a great way to share your story. Learn about the Public Affairs programming in your region, including cable access stations.

Minor market radio can be an excellent avenue for publicity; many stations have talk programming and are eager to find interview subjects. Your spokesperson can be interviewed in advance on the phone, or in the studio at the station when your members arrive in the community.

Add the names of all the radio news directors, assignment desk staff, public affairs show hosts and producers, and on air personalities to your media list.

Online

News-oriented websites are now a heavily relied upon source for easily accessed, up-to-date information. Like most of the media vehicles above, websites are targeted to specific audiences. Take time to search the internet to understand where your target audience is gathering information online.

Most national and local television, print, and radio outlets have an online presence. While many news websites carry the same name as a newspaper or TV station, the online editions are different, targeted to different audiences, and the same editors and reporters may not work for both. Note the differences in your media list.

Other outlets
Newsletters are an excellent way to reach a very targeted audience. Large companies in your area, local churches, camping and RV groups, car clubs, universities, school districts, and even nearby WBCCI Units and regions have publications needing relevant news to share with their readers. Be sure to include them in your list, and local business journals that cover community-specific news.

Don’t forget minority communities and the outlets that serve them, as well as faith-based media and programming.

Most media outlets in the United States are members of one of the major newswire services like the Associated Press that compile stories from many sources and post them for their member journalists. AP has a bureau in each state and should be contacted when you have news that’s appropriate for a statewide audience; add the regional bureau chief or assignment editor to your list. Visit the AP website to find a list of AP branches by state.

Explore the free online press release services. Pitch Engine allows you to post a news release for a limited time that includes photos and social media links. Google “free online press releases” for other options.


2. Plan your news.

You may need files from the Complete PR Kit to create your campaign so download it now.

Complete PR Kit Date **2013-03- Filesize 862.74 KB Download 511

Before you spread the word about your Unit and its unique members, dedicated community partners, fun activities, and historic milestones, develop a media plan.

An effective media plan can help your Unit reach thousands of people, including new members, prospective sponsors, local and state officials, and potential partners. Using your plan, you can generate print, broadcast, and electronic coverage of your Unit or Region, and help cultivate relationships with local TV, radio, and print reporters—all leading to ongoing interest in the WBCCI.

Specify your goals. Are you hoping to raise awareness of your Unit, publicize an event, recruit new members, or educate the public about Wally Byam and the WBCCI? The answers will help you position your message and identify the media contacts to reach out to.

Determine your resources, and set realistic expectations. Make a list, including:

Budget—Are club dollars available for media efforts?

Team—Which members have the skills, time and willingness to contribute to the publicity project? Are there individuals within the WBCCI organization that can lend a hand?

Relationships—What media contacts do you already have? 

Tools—What media materials do you have access to?

Partners—Which community organizations can provide assistance, resources, or spokespeople?

Establish your main messages. If you could write all the headlines, what would they be?

Create an outreach strategy. Keeping your specific events and messages in mind, identify:

  • Who will be interested in your news
  • Which media outlets reach those audiences
  • How you will pitch and package your story as a newsworthy event
  • How the culture and activities of your Unit relate to the communities you visit
  • Key messages
  • Spokespeople
  • Written materials that promote your Unit and/or event
  • Your plan for tracking and follow-up

Develop a timeline. Compare your annual rally and caravan calendar with your local and regional community calendars to select the events and activities that will provide the best media opportunities for your Unit throughout the year. Brainstorm with other members about ways to publicize your activities. Consider the following to determine newsworthy opportunities:

  • Do certain activities traditionally attract more attention than others?
  • What activities or events best showcase our Unit and WBCCI strengths and contributions to the community?
  • What activities are members most excited about?
  • Which activities involve collaboration with other organizations, businesses, or community members?
  • Which events coincide with holidays like Veteran’s Day, Flag Day, or popular local observances?

Calendar the dates for sending a press release, media alert or verbal pitch to the newspaper, TV and radio stations in each community your Unit will visit. If the rally site is in a smaller community or suburb of a metro area, reach out to contacts in the nearby area as well.


3. Deliver your message.

You may need files from the Complete PR Kit to create your campaign so download it now.

Complete PR Kit Date **2013-03- Filesize 862.74 KB Download 511

It’s time to make the news! Reporters are always looking for topical, original, localized story ideas and will appreciate receiving your information. Package it as a press release, media alert, personal pitch, or a combination of approaches.

Press release

The formal press release, once the primary tool for communicating with the news media, is fast becoming antiquated. They still serve several purposes: as a way to provide news to understaffed media outlets who don’t have the time and resources to research a story; as a fact-filled reference sheet for busy reporters; and as a device to push information you control to social media users.

A well-written press release can help a busy journalist who only has a few minutes to spare to quickly grasp and establish interest in an issue or event.

The smaller the community, the more interested the media will be in covering your news. Daily newspapers will rarely publish information exactly as submitted, but many weekly newspapers and small daily papers still rely on content from press releases for news briefs. In rare cases, your press release could be published verbatim as a feature or news story if it’s well written with a local angle.

Here’s how:

Ensure that your news or feature is of community and social interest. The media is a conduit through which you reach your audience, so write for them, in the style editors can use.

Write objectively, from a reporter’s perspective, in “AP style” (following the rules and grammar for news releases). Never include blatant marketing and sales language. Hyperbole of any kind reduces credibility. Be  clear and concise. The more you use their style, the more likely your story will be picked up.

Tell your story in one page, or maximum of two. A reporter or editor will call you if they want more information.

Start with a strong headline. Summarize the major points of the release and grab the interest of the recipient. A good headline compels the reader to keep reading. Don’t be afraid to be clever, or to use a subhead to support the main headline.

Start the first line with the dateline—the date of issue and the city and state either of your Unit headquarters or location of your event—and continue with a strong lead, the most newsworthy part of your story. Involve readers with the first one or two sentences. If the headline is the hook, than the lead should reel the reader all the way into the story. What do they most want to know? The answer belongs in the first short paragraph. You may explain more in detail later.

 Include the traditional elements of a news story: who, what, when, where, why, and how:

  • Who is the story about and whom does it affect
  • What is happening and why is it newsworthy
  • When is the story occurring? Did it happen already or will it happen in the future?
  • Where is the story taking place? Is it national or local?
  • Why does the story matter? Why should readers care?
  • How does the story affect the community?

Report your story in “inverted pyramid” style. Organize the information so the most important facts appear first, followed by supporting facts in order of importance. (If your story needs to be shortened, editors will cut it from the bottom up.) Generally, state your most important facts in the first paragraph. Provide background information in the second, and use the third for quotes from spokespeople. Bring your story to a close in the fourth. The best releases are the briefest.

Provide numbers and data to allow a reporter to present the facts. Think in terms of how many, and how big; emphasize superlatives: the first, the only, the oldest, the longest, or a significant anniversary.

Quotes from spokespeople bring your story to life and allow you to state an opinion or editorialize your news while remaining objective. Remember to obtain permission from the person you quote.

When possible, find a local angle that ties into a broader social trend. The media is also interested in anything new, milestones, human interest stories, powerful visuals, and community involvement, partnerships and alliances.

Include shareable content; images, videos and links that a journalist or blogger can use. Always accompany an image with a caption and photo credit or copyright notice.

At the top of the page, name a contact (or two) that reporters can call for more information or to arrange an interview. Provide the name(s) of those qualified to answer reporter questions immediately, with their phone numbers and email addresses. It’s critical that contacts remain reachable around the clock after your release is issued.

Also at the top of the page, type “for immediate release” unless a specific future date is necessary. (You will likely never need to embargo, or hold, your news.)

At the end of your press release, type three hash tags (# # #) or the number thirty (–30–). These traditional notations tell the reader that there is no more information.

After the ending notation, add the boilerplate: the official standard description of the organization issuing the release. A short, informative paragraph, the boilerplate may contain marketing language that is forbidden within the body text of a press release. The WBCCI boilerplate is:

 

                                About the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI)

                                The Wally Byam Caravan Club International offers fun, fellowship, and adventure for owners of the world’s finest RV, the Airstream.

                                Founded in 1955, the WBCCI has touched the lives of Airstream owners for nearly sixty  years and continues in the spirit of Wally Byam, inventor of the Airstream, who introduced glamour to trailer touring.

                            Dedicated to fostering friendships and a passion for travel through a common interest in the Airstream lifestyle, the WBCCI offers caravans, rallies and activities through more than 122local Units throughout the United States and Canada. Learn more at www.wbcci.org.

 

                You may add an additional boilerplate describing your Region or local Unit.

 

 

EXAMPLE:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

P.R. Volunteer

000-000-0000

Contact person @ email address

Second P.R. Volunteer

000-000-0000

2nd Contact @ email address

One Hundred Airstream Trailers Convene at Big County Park

Trailer doors open for public tour during Silver Bullet Rally

Anytown, NE (July 20, 2013) — Nearly 100 aluminum Airstream trailers will roll into Anytown on Thursday, August 3, 2013.

The Central States Unit of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) will convene for four days at Big County Park at 123 Main Street, Anytown for the tenth annual Silver Bullet Rally. The public is invited to tour member’s vintage and new Airstreams on Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We’ve been rallying at Big County Park and have enjoyed being part of the Anytown community for ten years now,” said Unit President Iona Traylor, who tows a restored 1976 Airstream Argosy, outfitted with red, white, and blue fixtures and decor. “As part of the Big Local Classic Car Show, we love to show off our vintage Airstreams!”

One of the trailers featured at the rally is owned by Mabel Vagabond, local artist and world traveler from Nearby Suburb, who will be celebrating her 100th birthday with WBCCI members at her 1963 Airstream Safari.

About the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI)

The Wally Byam Caravan Club International offers fun, fellowship, and adventure for owners of the world’s finest RV, the Airstream.

Founded in 1955, the WBCCI has touched the lives of Airstream owners for nearly sixty years and continues in the spirit of Wally Byam, inventor of the Airstream, who introduced glamour to trailer touring.

Dedicated to fostering friendships and a passion for travel through a common interest in the Airstream lifestyle, the WBCCI offers caravans, rallies and activities through the more than 122local Units throughout the United States and Canada. Learn more at www.wbcci.org.

About the Central States Unit

As part of the historic Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI), the 200-member Central States Unit #046 organizes rallies and caravans throughout the Central Region. We enjoy fun, food and travel with fellow owners of iconic vintage and new Airstreams, the most recognizable and popular travel trailer in the world.

Distributing your press release:

First, use spell check, grammar check, and ask someone else to read it for typos. Errors are very harmful, and raise doubts about the source of the release.

Consult your media list and prepare your release for email to all relevant contacts. Consider distributing it to organizations other than the media outlets on your list—the Chamber of Commerce, visitor bureaus, and friends and family.

Craft the email subject line. Do not use “press release.” Use your headline if it’s an eye-catching grabber, or attract attention with the most exciting newsworthy fact.

Send your release as text within the body of an email, not as an attachment.

 It’s appropriate to add a personal message or irresistible call to action to the reporter at the beginning of your email. Let them know they can interview someone interesting or locally famous, or invite them to witness a wildly visual event will take place at a certain time.

 

Media alert

A media alert (or advisory) differs from a press release. While the basic message may be the same, an alert generally invites members of the media to be present at an event. Like a press release, a media alert includes the “who, what, when, where and why” of your story, but it’s shorter than a release and presents the facts in a bullet-point format.

Provide the angle and details reporters are interested in, and what you’d like them to cover to accomplish your publicity goals.

Email your alert a week or two in advance to the newsdesks at your local TV stations, the photography editors and feature reporters at your local newspapers, and all other relevant contacts on your media list. Send it again on the day before or day of the event; add a personal note if any facts have changed or to encourage attendance.

As with a press release, include the alert in the body of your email (not as an attachment) and introduce it with an attention-getting subject line.

Make follow up calls to select media contacts to gauge their interest, answer questions, and encourage them to attend.

EXAMPLE:

Email subject line: ALERT: Local traveler celebrates 100th birthday at rally with 100 Airstream trailers

                Rick- We’ve added a community open house on Saturday, August 5. Our Airstreams—restored vintage models from the 1960’s to a brand new trailer fresh from the factory—will be open for the public to tour from  10am to                 3pm.

 

                Mabel Vagabond’s birthday party, held at her vintage trailer and surrounded by the other Airstreams on Sunday morning, would be a great story and photo opportunity.

 

                I hope we’ll see you there! - P.R.V. 000-000-0000

 

MEDIA ALERT

What:

100 Airstream trailers will convene at historic Big County Park for the tenth annual Silver Bullet Rally

Who:

Members of the Central States Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI)

                Mabel Vagabond, local artist and world traveler from Nearby Suburb, will be celebrating her 100th birthday with club members at her vintage 1963 Airstream Safari

               

                When:

                WBCCI Rally: Thursday, August 3, 2013 through Sunday, August 6, 2013

                Airstream Open House: Saturday, 8/5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

                100th Birthday Party: Sunday, 8/6, 11 a.m.

               

                Where:

                West entrance, Big County Park, 123 Main Street, Anytown USA.

                Look for the colorful flags flying and rows of aluminum Airstream trailers

 

                Why:

                As part of the historic Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI), the 200-member Central States Unit has included Anytown on their annual summer rally calendar for ten years.

 

                The Silver Bullet Rally Airstream Open House is a part of the Big Local Classic Car Show www.biglocalcarshow.org

               

                To arrange an interview with Ms. Vagabond or the President of the Central States WBCCI, contact:

                P.R. Volunteer

                000-000-0000

                Contact person @ email address

 

                About the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI)

 

                The Wally Byam Caravan Club International offers fun, fellowship, and adventure for owners of the world’s finest RV, the Airstream.

                Founded in 1955, the WBCCI has touched the lives of Airstream owners for nearly sixty years and continues in the spirit of Wally Byam, inventor of the Airstream, who introduced glamour to trailer touring.

                Dedicated to fostering friendships and a passion for travel through a common interest in the Airstream lifestyle, the WBCCI offers caravans, rallies and activities through the more than 122local Units throughout the United States and Canada. Learn more at www.wbcci.org.

Pitch

Especially effective for news desk assignment editors at television stations, a pitch is a phone call (or email message with a preceding phone call head’s up) delivering a story idea personally to an editor or specific reporter.

Plan your pitch in advance to keep it short, sweet, and on point:

  • Can you piggyback your story idea on recent news, columns or national trend?
  • Is someone notable involved?
  • Are there strong visuals, or can you create visual drama for the reporter?
  • Research the reporter and the station or publication. Ask yourself how your story relates to the publication and the reporter’s interests.
  • Define exactly what you want the reporter to do.
  • Prepare two or three pitch points to talk about, and be prepared to quickly switch conversation topics.
  • Condense your pitch to ten seconds.
  • Give a clear call action, including interview opportunities.
  • Don’t apologize for calling the busy reporter. It’s never a good time, and remember, they require tips and story ideas to develop news for their audience.
  • Commit to your idea and why it’s right for their publication or broadcast.

Clearly and simply explain your idea; be casually direct. Have your fact sheet or press release on hand to refer to. EXAMPLE:

 “Randy, hi. This is P.R. Volunteer from the local Airstream club. We’ve got an exciting event coming up this weekend that would be a good fit for the <Weekender broadcast/Sunday lifestyle section/photo for the front page of the Go supplement.

One hundred Airstream trailers will be arriving at Big County Park for our Central States rally. Lots of colorful flags flying, members in their blue berets, and the silver trailers will be all lined up in the park for an   Airstream open house. We usually attract over 400 people to tour them. Everybody loves Airstreams!

And Mabel Vagabond, who was in the news last year for being the oldest local resident to travel around the world, will be celebrating her 100th birthday right there with her vintage Airstream and 100 others.

I can set you up with an interview with her/give you a personal tour of one of the most interesting vintage or brand new trailers/have the club president tell you about the local club.

In this region, RV sales have recently increased 30%/antique vehicle restorations have had a resurgence in popularity/local seniors are embarking on Airstream extreme camping caravans/more and more women are RVing alone/the national glamping trend is catching on with the local Airstream club>. I can forward our press release to give you more background.

Our Unit is part of the Wally Byam Caravan Club; it’s been around for sixty years and is one of the largest   RV organizations in the world. Wally Byam? He invented the iconic Airstream eighty years ago. They’re still    American-made today!

Saturday afternoon and Sunday midmorning will be the best times to catch most of the action.”

A pitch letter is similar, and can be used to interest a reporter or editor in writing a newspaper feature or magazine article. Like a phone pitch, you’ll have only a few seconds to grab attention and keep the recipient reading. Pitch letters can be effective for placements in special interest magazines, but they require a long lead time—often months in advance—and stories must be well suited for their readers.

Provide a story proposal that:

  • Is personalized to the editor, use their name.
  • Is short, direct and easy to read; editors are inundated with hundreds of letters each week. Limit it to two or three paragraphs; they’ll contact you for more detail if they are interested.
  • Is tailored to appeal perfectly to their audience.
  • Aligns with their editorial calendar.
  • Includes facts and figures, without marketing or promotional content.
  • Uses bullet points, links and words that convey emotion, immediacy, and importance.
  • Is newsworthy; look for an overarching theme that fits with the mission of the outlet you’re pitching and appeals to a wide audience.
  • Provides necessary links and contact information for more detail
  • Establishes you as a credible, trustworthy resource and positions your Unit as the leading RV club in your region and your members as the go-to spokespeople for trailer adventures.

4. More Tools and Tips for Positive PR

You may need files from the Complete PR Kit to create your campaign so download it now.

Complete PR Kit Date **2013-03- Filesize 862.74 KB Download 511

Have a press kit on hand to share with reporters who request information about the WBCCI and your local Unit. Though reporters no longer have time for overwhelming paper-based press kits, you may be asked to provide one on disk that includes photos and background information. Have one handy; use the WBCCI materials found online and supplement it with information about your local Unit.

Materials from this website may be copied to a disk, or direct reporters to here to learn more about the club. Finding facts about the club to share with local reporters, bloggers, travel and RV writers, public relations professionals, and prospective members is easy; simply visit this website. All of the information online is approved, will continue to be updated, and is ready to be copied into your PR and marketing materials, club communications, and shared online. Copy, but not change the text found online. You may add localized information.

 Basic facts about the WBCCI are all online here, as well as information about:

  • Wally Byam
  • Airstream, Inc.
  • Airstream trailers
  • WBCCI history
  • WBCCI International Convention and Rally
  • WBCCI Organization and Leadership
  • Member testimonials
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the WBCCI

Use ONLY “Image Library” photos, supplied on this disk or here online LINK: http://wbcci.org/club-information/about-us/media/image-library. Photos found in the “Gallery” section of www.wbcci.org, on the Airforums, or on Facebook or other online sites may or may not have been given unlimited usage permission by their photographers. Image Library photos have all been authorized for re-publication use. Be sure to include a caption and copyright notice, found with the photos in the Image Library.

Other items to include in your press kit include:

Add your own localized information:

  • Recent Unit newsletter
  • Newspaper clippings featuring your Unit
  • YouTube videos
  • “Backgrounder” or fact sheet about your Unit on WBCCI letterhead (found in http://wbcci.org/club-information/general-info-and-forms). Include your Unit name and description/lboilerplate; website, Facebook and Twitter URLs; and the contact information for your Unit PR volunteers.

Meet your local reporters and editors. Invite a reporter to camp with your Unit to learn firsthand about Airstreaming and the fun, fellowship and adventure offered by the WBCCI. Consider inviting a reporter to lunch or coffee to establish a relationship and position yourself as a resource. Keep your meeting to 30 minutes or less. Do your homework; Google the reporter first and read a few of their articles. Bring your press kit on disk. Keep in touch—email your Unit newsletter to your media contact. Be friendly; say “here’s what’s happening in our Unit this month,” and casually offer story ideas and access to members.

Keep a media log. Keep track of the reporters that contact you, and a collection of all your positive press. If your rally is visited by a member of the media, search online afterward to find all the links of the coverage, make PDFs, and save them to a separate file.

Say thank you. If your story is published or broadcast, send a thank you note to the reporter or editor. Do not mention any errors or unmet expectations. State that it was a pleasure to work with them and that you’re always available to help in the future. Enclose your Unit business card.

Be available. Reporters are always on a deadline. Respond to their needs immediately, and make it easy for them to contact you, day and night. Assign a backup contact.

Expect the unexpected. Breaking news may take priority over your event, even if a reporter has promised to attend. Be prepared to shift to a different approach or angle; reporters and editors determine what is news. Be adaptable, but keep your message foremost in your mind.

Piggyback on the PR efforts of others. If your rally or caravan is in town to participate in an event, ask the organizers or local Chamber of Commerce to share the news of your involvement.

Select the right spokespeople: Your Unit president, and one or two outgoing members who will boost the image of your Unit and always speak positively about the WBCCI and their enthusiasm for Airstream travel. A PR volunteer and/or spokesperson should be designated at each rally to respond to the media, convey messages, and describe your Unit and its mission. Ensure that they are well-versed in the same talking points. Explain reporter’s expectations and focus to your spokesperson, and make sure they are available. Consider recruiting a spokesperson who speaks non-English languages in the community.

Be visual. Few sights are more stirring than a large Airstream rally or caravan, with flags flying and aluminum gleaming. Offer to conduct interviews where the background promotes the image you’re looking for. Hang banners and signage, tidy up, gather members to be part of the scene. Wear your badge, beret, or rally “costume.”

Showcase your members. Suggest WBCCI members with historic Airstreams or wild restorations and decor, and those with interesting backgrounds, hobbies, vocations, and ways they use their trailers for a human interest story.

Pitch in. Think about community service and relevance to the local area, and offer to partner with a local nonprofit during the rally on a project. Invite the news media to witness your volunteer activity.

Be your own citizen journalist. If you haven’t already, establish a Unit Facebook page and Twitter account, and follow members of the media. Post about rallies, caravans, and members; upload all your fun photos and YouTube videos. Engage your members who blog. If you obtain press coverage, share the link to the story online early and often. Republish news links using a URL-shortening service (http://tinyurl.com/ or http://goo.gl/).

Keep your Unit website up to date. Reporters will research your site. Stock it with timely information and your key messages. Keep all contact information current. Link back to www.wbcci.org.

Interview tips

  • Plan ahead. Think carefully about the main messages you’d like to get across, for different media. Printed news is generally more in-depth; TV is more visual and measured in seconds. Radio requires quick, strong soundbites. Mentally prepare your 20-second talking points.
  • Inquire about the interview. What is the reporter looking for? What’s the goal of the story? Will it be live, or taped? When will it air or be published? For radio, will listeners be calling in?
  • Think of an opening and closing anecdote to illustrate your message.
  • Keep your goals in mind. An interview is less of a conversation with a reporter, and more of a vehicle through which you reach your audience. Keep control of your message.
  • There’s no such thing as off the record. The microphone stays on until it’s removed. If you don’t want to see it in print or on TV, don’t say it.
  • When a question is asked that you can’t or don’t want to answer, simply say “I don’t know the answer to that” and talk about what you prefer to say instead. Make every effort to provide the answer to the reporter’s question later. Never say “no comment.”
  • Don’t look at the camera. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Relax, have fun, and be yourself. Reporters are supportive and want their story to turn out well. When you look good, they look good.
  • Avoid jargon, club acronyms, and technical language.
  • Keep your answers on target. When you are finished with your statement, simply stop talking and wait for the reporter to ask another question. Awkward silence will be edited out.
  • If you are being filmed or taped and you don’t care for how you answered, simply ask to start again. Tell the reporter you think you can do better. They want the sharpest soundbite for their story and will be glad to work with you to get there.
  • Remain upbeat and enthusiastic. Your passion for Airstreaming is your best asset. Stay focused and positive. Smile!
  • Avoid looking shiny. On a hot day, take a few minutes to freshen up and powder your nose.
  • Don’t ask to review the story before it’s published, or ask if it will be positive.
  • At the end of your interview, a reporter will ask if there’s anything else you’d like to add. Yes, there is! Decide what you’ll say in advance.
Category: About WBCCI

"I like the resources available in the membership. You need something, someone will have it. Need to gain knowledge in an area, the group will give it. Need help, more people will offer than you can possibly thank. This is such a diverse group with many many skills and they love to tell you where to go!”
-Appleton, Wisconsin

“I like the great folks I've met in my six years. In my...

Read more: What members are saying about WBCCI

Category: About WBCCI

The WBCCI International Rally has been held annually since 1958 at varying locations throughout the United States and Canada. The gathering is held during the last week of June through July 4th, Wally Byam’s birthday.


The largest International Rally—attracting nearly 4500 Airstream trailers—was held in Louisville, Kentucky in 1975. The International Rally in Lake Placid, New...

Read more: WBCCI International Convention and Rally

Category: About WBCCI

The WBCCI is organized by geographic location throughout the United States and Canada. There are 12 Regions, and many “Units” within each Region.
wbcci-regions-map

Units are independent organizations in compliance with the International Constitution and Bylaws with their own bylaws, constitution, elected officers, and dues. Unit size varies, and ranges from 15 to more than 500 members.


Click HERE to...

Read more: WBCCI Organization and Leadership

Category: About WBCCI

Early Airstream owners were passionate travelers with a strong desire to tour the world, but many were daunted to set out solo on an adventure to destinations unknown. Wally Byam found a thrilling solution.

In 1951, Byam organized a group of 50 Airstream-owning friends for a caravan together through Central America. Though the route was always challenging and the roads often impassable, the...

Read more: WBCCI History

Category: About WBCCI