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All publicity is good publicity, isn’t that how the saying goes?  Perhaps it might be more accurate to say that all publicity is hard-won publicity – in this information-heavy, PR-led, email deluge that most of us exist in, getting a story noticed, picked up and told is no easy task.

Of course, when you have a story as unique and engaging as Heritage Open Days, there are plenty of people interested in featuring us in their newspaper, magazine or website.  Radio and TV stations love us too – just ask Annie, our HODs Manager, who spends much of the summer dipping in and out of BBC buildings, giving interviews and talking up our festival, both regionally and nationally.

But publicity is the hungriest of monsters, with endless blogs, websites, print titles and broadcasters to feed.  This year, we had better press coverage than ever, with a double page feature in the Daily Mail, articles in The Times, The Sun, Waitrose Weekend, Grazia, Diva and glossy, multiple-page features in many regional monthly magazines.  Annie gave interviews to over twenty radio stations, including the national station Talk Radio, and we were featured on the evening news bulletins across half a dozen regions.  Even Martin Lewis gave us a mention, in his slot on ITV’s This Morning.

And yet it was still easy to miss us.  We know that many of you would like to see more mentions of Heritage Open Days across print and broadcast media – and that’s something we would like too.  But in order to be able to compete with the wealth of stories and press releases that drop into every journalist’s inbox each day, we need to have something new and interesting to promote.  Heritage Open Days is an annual festival, meaning we have to work even harder to create original, eye-catching stories.

And this is where you, our wonderful organisers, come in.  Every year we look for new, unusual and innovative events that we can talk about with journalists – art trails, new guided walks, family activities or experiential events.  The more creative you can be with your events, the more we have to talk about. 

We know it’s not easy, coming up with new angles or ideas, so this year we’ll be providing lots of material and suggestions to help you refresh your event, or create something entirely new.  And, of course, the sooner you register with us, the sooner we can start talking to the media about what you’re doing.  In 2019, we want to really shout about HODs – about our theme, People Power, our BIG anniversary, and the wonderful and diverse events that make our festival unlike any other.  Let’s make sure, together, that in our 25th year, we really make the media sit up and take notice.