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Tips for local media coverage

1. Let the newsdesk of the local newspaper or TV station about any events or activities you are holding and invite one of their journalists along. A quick email will suffice

2. Send a brief press release after any activities you hold, alongside a high-quality photo. The photo can be taken using a smart phone if that is what is available

3. Alternatively, you can send the template press release below and adapt it for you needs. Writing to the Chancellor provides a good news hook which is timely given the spring budget is just over a month away

4. Make use of social media. You can always tag the local newspaper in your tweets or on Facebook posts

5. Offer an interview with the principal or chair to the paper, or offer to write a comment piece/blog for the media outlet.

You can use the template press release below as a guide for formatting your press releases.

The example press release was created as part of our Mind the Skills Gap campaign.

Template press release: Principal calls on Government to boost funding for colleges

A college principal has urged Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to increase funding for technical education in the upcoming spring statement.

[Name] principal and chief executive at [College name] has written to Mr Hunt calling for an increase in the budget which takes place next month.

College finances remain below what they were in 2010, according to economics think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies1. Funding cuts mean spending per pupil in 2024-25 will still be around 5% below 2010-11 levels and for adult students it is 22% below 2009–10 levels.

[Principal name] said: [Insert personalised quote here, could include any of the specific activities the college has organised in here].

[College name] is supporting the Mind the Skills Gap campaign, which has been launched by the Future Skills Coalition.

With job vacancies at near record levels of over 1 million according to the Office for National Statistics2, businesses are struggling to fill important posts which is reducing their ability to grow, which in turn hampers the health of the local and national economy.

Mind the Skills Gap aims to highlight the important role colleges and other further education providers play in giving people the skills they need to enter these often specialised jobs. Colleges could do even more with greater funding.

The Future Skills Coalition is supported by sector organisations the Association of Colleges, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers and City & Guilds, has outlined three priorities to tackle this problem: A right to lifelong learning; fair, accessible and effective funding; and a national strategy to support local, inclusive growth.

The organisations held a campaign event in Parliament on Wednesday (1 March) attended by education and training leaders as well as several MPs and peers.

Comms advice and resources for colleges