U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Clean Cities

Tips for Public Outreach

Public outreach and education is critical to your coalition's success in reducing petroleum use. Use these tips when you communicate with the public and local media about your Clean Cities events, accomplishments, and activities.

Icon of a graduation cap.For more information, take the Conducting Media Outreach course from Clean Cities University.

Communicating Outside Coalitions

Communicating effectively with prospective stakeholders and the public is essential to build support for your coalition. Follow these tips when communicating outside your coalition.

  • Establish a brand by prominently displaying your coalition's logo on all of your outreach materials.
  • Establish credibility by pointing out that your coalition is part of Clean Cities, a national initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Be careful, however, not to indicate that your coalition is part of DOE.
  • Be consistent by using ready-made templates and presentations.
  • Build support by pointing to Clean Cities' accomplishments.
  • Emphasize ways your coalition can partner with prospective stakeholders.
  • Direct people to the Clean Cities website and your coalition website for more information.
  • Provide your contact information, and respond promptly to inquiries.

Using Social Media

Using social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, can help you communicate with stakeholders and media organizations about your coalition's events and accomplishments. Follow these tips to maximize your use of social media tools:

Share About Your Coalition

Push information about your coalition to stakeholders through a variety of social media outlets. Examples include:

  • Facebook – Interact with your Facebook friends by creating events for your coalition activities and inviting your stakeholders. Photos will gain the most traction on your timeline. Post photos of your events and links to your website to raise awareness about your coalition and its accomplishments.
  • Twitter – Engage your Twitter followers by tweeting about your coalition's events and accomplishments. Pique interest by starting with an action word or using an intriguing fact with a link to more information on your website.
  • YouTube – Excite your YouTube channel subscribers by uploading videos about your coalition's successes. Find tips for producing videos.

Share About Clean Cities

Leverage existing content to share broader information about the Clean Cities program and its accomplishments. Examples include:

  • Blog – Share posts from the Clean Cities Blog by clicking the orange "Share" button in the upper-right corner of a blog post.
  • Videos – Share videos from the Clean Cities YouTube channel by clicking the "Share" link below a video.
  • News – Embed the Clean Cities News widget on your website by clicking the "Get Widget" button at the bottom of the widget to share the latest from Clean Cities, including YouTube videos, blog posts, and news releases.
  • Poll – Tweet about the quarterly poll on the Alternative Fuels Data Center to engage your Twitter followers.

Contacting Local Media

Increase your coalition's exposure to the public and garner more support from stakeholders by contacting local media to publicize your events, accomplishments, and activities. Follow these tips to engage local media effectively.

  • Reach out to the media at least one week before events.
  • Contact news beat staff before pitching ideas to editors.
  • Schedule an in-person meeting or phone call for anything requiring more than five minutes.
  • Take print materials to in-person meetings. Email materials after remote meetings.
  • Ask fellow coordinators about their successes with contacting local media.
  • Provide your contact information, and promptly respond to media inquiries.
  • Thank media contacts for their time in a follow-up email or note.

For information about media outlets in your area, contact your local convention or visitor's bureau, or see the Gale directory of publications and broadcast media.

Writing Press Releases

Your newsworthy events, accomplishments, and activities could be picked up by local media if you present them in a concise, engaging way. Reporters have many news releases to sift through daily, so follow these tips to write press releases that stand out.

  • Lead with the most important information.
  • Keep it brief, simple, and on point.
  • Answer the traditional who, what, where, when, why, and how questions.
  • Use active voice and strong verbs.
  • Check your grammar, spelling, and facts.
  • Recheck your grammar, spelling, and facts.
  • Provide your contact information.

Read more Tips for Publicizing Your Awards and Achievements and see the press release template. For style guidelines, consult the Associated Press Stylebook. Also see information about appropriate use for logos.

Improving Fuel Economy

Use tips from FuelEconomy.gov and the fuel economy press release template to communicate with the media about ways your coalition supports reducing fuel consumption.

Producing Videos

Find tips for producing videos for Clean Cities.