"The Operations Manual, which has been copyrighted by LSI, is provided to the franchises
during the term of the Franchise Agreement. Any material copied from the
Operations Manual must be only for use in the operation of the franchisee's
Camp-Resort and only during the term of the Franchise Agreement. The franchisee
is required to retain possession of any and all copies at all times."
PRINTING INSTRUCTIONS - To Print, highlight the area to be printed
and go to File/Print and then use the "selection" option and "Print"
A BIGGER PAYBACK
THAN YOU EVER EXPECTED FOR AN ADVERTISING INVESTMENT SMALLER THAN
YOU EVER IMAGINED.
What PR can do for you
The use of the Yogi Bear Logo is of prime importance
in projecting an organized and professional image to the public.
Use your logo on every piece of printed or written
material, both on materials used within the Camp-Resort, and on
any material that is sent out to the public. Your logo is protected
by a copyright. This copyright must appear on all written or printed
material which is used by you:
Are you having a "special event" at your Camp-Resort?
Like a 50's dance, Father's Day celebration, Christmas in July,
a pancake breakfast? Taking Yogi to the children's ward at your
local hospital, or to your school, or nursing home? Are you having
an anniversary celebration at your park? Have you or any of your
employees attended a campground seminar, workshop, or symposium?
Have you completed a training course or received an award?...
Tell the public about it. Write a brief, factual description
and mail it to your local media.
Establish lines of communication
The news media should be aware of you and of your Camp-Resort.
They should regularly see news items from you, and soon they will
come to expect them. If the items are newsworthy
and are presented properly, the chances improve
or seeing them in print or hearing them on air.
Write a new release ONLY when you really have some news to convey.
Don't waste the media's time, or your own, on non-newsworthy events.
Provide free advertising
Good PR is far more effective and powerful than
any paid advertising. It lends a certain credibility,
for supposedly it is objective, and advertising is not.
Remember PR cannot work miracles
If your Camp-Resort has questionable aspects, if it does not perform,
if your promises are empty statements, then the best-planned PR
campaign is useless.
A favorable comment in a newspaper is earned by performance that
is consistent, by conduct that is ethical, and by imaginative
Developing a PR plan
Is it a broad objective, such as creating an
identity, or do you have a specific
objective, like attracting a certain number of
people to your special event, or party, or anniversary
Keep a Budget - How much is this event, or grand opening,
going to cost? Might there be additional expenses? Project
incremental revenues if any, to arrive at actual cost vs. exposure
for each project.
Scheduling -News must be timely. Mail your
press release at least two weeks ahead of the event, to inform
the news media of the coming occasion. Follow the release with
a phone call to confirm receipt, answer any questions
and to remind them of the event. Make certain that your event
is listed in the "calendar" section in all publications.
Appoint a spokesperson
For control and consistency, only one person in your
organization should be responsible for dealing with the media,
whether it is for media trips, phone conversations, news people,
interviews, or providing requested materials.
Preparing a media contact list
Use a card file
Make a list of each newspaper, publication,
or station in your area, and prepare a card for each. Addresses
and phone numbers can be obtained from the telephone directory,
from the library, or directly from the media. Media people change
frequently, so continually update your files.
Make a phone call
Make telephone contact with each publication or station that
is on your list, within your area. When calling larger newspapers,
ask for the camping or outdoors editor. Smaller papers will
usually have just one editor. Radio stations will have a news
director. When you have the editor or news director on the phone,
introduce yourself. Tell him/her that you own (or manage)
such-and-such campground located (where), and that you are anxious
to meet him/her. Be extremely pleasant and considerate - ask
if this is a convenient time to call, or if you should call
Write a letter
In the case of trade publications or periodicals located
some distance away, write a letter of introduction to the editor,
telling him/her that you would like to put his/her name on your
mailing list, that you will send any relevant releases and photos,
and will appreciate any coverage the publication can give you.
Do not neglect to include the Chamber
of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, or your Area Information
Center, and any other community organizations which
deal with the public on your news media list.
Improving media relations
Nothing takes the place of personal contact. Invite
the press to bring their families out to your Camp-Resort for
a day - or invite them to camp with you on occasion without
Know the media's needs
Know the difference between a news release and
a feature story.
Remember, the news release must be current...
something of news interest that has just happened, or is about
to happen. A feature story, on the other hand, is news
story of an extended nature, which may or may not be related
to an event. Generally, it provides some historical
background, human interest, detailed facts, and sometimes humor,
and it involves the reader in more than a casual manner with
Respect the media's time
Take them at their word. If a reporter asks you to call at
a certain time, call at the appointed hour. Or if they ask you
to send more information, do so at once. They don't have time
to play games, and if you don't comply with their request, you
could lose a positive story opportunity.
Don't press your cause too hard. No one likes
to feel they were "tricked" into some sort of agreement.
Present the positive aspects of your
idea, and then let the material you've given them do the selling.
Remember that members of the media are people
first and reporters second.
Saying "Thank You"
A word of caution. Don't expect free publicity
to take the place of advertising. This type of promotion should
add to your endeavors, not replace
your advertising. You should use both for maximum marketing
Getting your story told
How does a campground owner or manager go about getting newspaper
or magazine coverage or air time, other than by launching a
massive (and expensive) advertising campaign?
There are ways, and they all involve good PR. There are some
guidelines to follow.
Don't bother with "old news"
Whenever possible, send a news release BEFORE the
event, not after. And when possible, phone several
days or a week in advance of the event to alert the news sources.
Items which find their way into print
Certain types of news items have a greater chance of appearing
in print. For example, a news release concerning an event
you are planning which is open to the public, such
as a flea market or a bazaar probably will be used by the local
newspaper. Or, an event in which you are raising money
for a charitable cause, or one which has to do with
a civic, service, or church organization, will
likely find its way into print. Most news directors devote some
ink or air time to a calendar of such non-profit events. And
along with news of the happening will be a mention of the place
where it will be held: your camp-resort.
Another type of news item which is not difficult to get published
is the business news item. Perhaps you are adding a
new recreational facility to your campground, such
as a water slide, a roller skating rink, or a miniature golf
course. Don't forget to take the time to notify your
local news media. And don't wait until the project
is finished to do it! It's possible to get exposure throughout
the construction and opening of the project.
Write a letter to the editor. For example,
suppose the fire department answered a call to your campground
to extinguish a small blaze, which, if unattended, could have
caused a lot of damage. You could write a note of appreciation
to the editor, signing it as owner or manager of the campground,
and mentioning your facility in the letter. A little pre-effort
such as this can pay dividends down the road.
Remember, though - events which are open ONLY to your
customers do NOT qualify as news, except on your own bulletin
Be discreet and honest in your news releases, stories, and
ideas. Credibility is the key -- always!
Persistence is the final ingredient for successful media contact.
Sometimes a publication will like your idea immediately, and
the first thing you know, a word-for-word copy of your press
release will appear in your local paper. On other occasions,
they won't be interested. Perhaps you need to wait a month,
and send the reporter or editor a slightly updated version of
the same release; or, you may need to come up with a new angle
for your next approach. Intuition and common sense will be your
best guides in these situations.
Those who stick with it and keep trying different story angles
will find that there is a way to get into almost every media
outlet you want to. DON'T GIVE UP!
The basics of writing a press release
Your news release may receive only a few seconds of consideration
- therefore, Presentation is Very Important.
The quicker the editor can evaluate your story, the more likely
he or she is to be interested in what you are offering.
A news release should tell Who, What, When, Where,
and Why... and if necessary, How.
The headline is a summary of the main content of the release,
and is always typed in capital letters.
When writing the headline, try to put the reader-interest
information first. For example, "FREE CLINIC
ON RV MAINTENANCE AND AUTO REPAIRS TO BE HELD" is better
than "JELLYSTONE PARK TO HOLD FREE WORKSHOP etc."
The vital details are given at the beginning of the story,
while other information is provided in descending order
Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
they need to
like them to
information but nothing
Your writing style
You don't need to be a professional to write a news release.
Simply identify what you want to say, and adapt it to the
format given. Check and re-check spelling, grammar and facts!
Keep your sentences and paragraphs short, and your wording
Try to be as objective as possible.
Avoid the use of "fantastic", "world's best",
etc. If you are claiming to be "first" then be
sure you are.
If you have facts or statistics which tell the story,
use them. Another way is to place such information in quotes.
You can quote yourself on subjects such as expansion of
your services or increase in traffic.
Call to action
Finally, your release should conclude with a "call
to action" - a paragraph indicating what you want the
reader, listener or viewer to do as a result of reading
or hearing about your story. "Call for more information
A press release
should be neatly typed with wide margins for easy reading.
Proof it for typing or spelling errors. Make your news release
is as professional as possible.
Letterhead or news release paper
Be sure to type "More" at the bottom of the
first page if it continues to another page.
Many businesses have special letterheads printed for news
releases. These usually have "NEWS" or "NEWS
INFORMATION" emblazoned across the top, and should
be on white stock. The purpose is to appear professional.
If your release is on your own letterhead and is presented
neatly and attractively, special news release paper is not
How to send
Mail your news release in a neatly typed business-size
envelope. Whenever possible, address it to a specific person.
Source information (name, address and phone number) appears
in the upper left
The release date - typed in capital letters - appears slightly
below the source information on the opposite (right) side
of the page.
The headline summarizes the content of the release and is
typed in capital letters. Be sure to lead with the reader-interest
The first paragraph of the release
answers: who, what, when, where, why and how. Paragraphs and
sentences are short and to the point. Glowing descriptions
are to be avoided.
Any release should be carefully proofed for typing or spelling
errors. Remember, you're asking for free editorial space,
so it's important that your release make a good impression.
If a release is more than one page long, spacing is planned
so that one paragraph ends at the bottom of a page, and a
new paragraph begins at the top of the next page.
Always send a good,
clean copy of a release to the media.
The release should be mailed in a neatly addressed business-size
envelope and should usually be sent to a specific person.
The use of photographs
When possible, have
the photos which are earmarked for possible publication taken
by a professional. If the event you are writing about is of
enough interest, you may be able to get a photographer from
the newspaper to take the pictures for you. Ask whether the
publication prefers black-and- white or color photos.
Care for your photos Never write on photos, either front or back,
and never place a paper clip directly onto the printed part
of a photo.
Affix cutlines to the backs of all photos with rubber cement
or clear plastic adhesive tape. Cutlines describe what is happening
in the photo in one concise sentence.
Use the Bears
Yogi Bear and the Jellystone characters are "naturals"
when it comes to interesting pictures... and if the event is
at all newsworthy and if the picture is a good, clear one, chances
are good it will be used.
Identifying your photos
To ensure proper identification, persons or objects appearing
in a photo should be identified in the cutlines. Label
everything in the cutline left to right, and indicate
that this has been done by preceding the names with "from
left to right", or "l-r".
Subjects or opportunities for press coverage
The most commonly used event, and one which takes the least
time and money, is the RV exhibit.
Local RV dealers in your area should be contacted well ahead
of time, informed about the date and invited to display their
latest models at your campground. Campers and non-campers
alike enjoy viewing these models.
Mini-golf tournaments -- It can be for charity,
using media personalities.
A contest to select Miss Jellystone can generate a lot of
interest, and will result in some pre-opening publicity. You
could also have a Junior Miss Jellystone for the children.
Set down simple rules, age limit, etc., and invite area competition.
If your campground has a stable, or is located near one,
a horse show is a good event to hold. A local horseman's club
or riding club might also be prevailed upon to perform.
You will have to provide an adequate area for their use.
If it is to be a competitive event, you will have to provide
trophies or prizes.
Use your pavilion or you might consider outdoor dancing for
an hour or so with a combo performing.
Square-dancing is also very popular in many areas, and a
local square dance club might be willing to perform.
Other special entertainment might include a magician (have
him/her involve the audience in the act), or clowns, which
are always popular.
Drawing for prizes
A prize drawing is always popular. Although many times local
merchants are willing to donate prizes in exchange for advertising,
usually the time involved in soliciting for such a project
is too great. It is best to provide your own prizes - free
weekends of camping, Yogi Bear stuffed animals, tee shirts
or sweatshirts, and camper supplies are appropriate and welcome
prizes for your drawing.
A feature story may have some immediacy too, but
it does not need to have it. Usually it is a story
about something unusual or unique, or it might be a humorous
story... something that will tickle a person's "funny
bone". It must hold interest and attention.
Look for "People Stories"
"People" stories make good features. If you, or
one of your employees, have an interesting background, or
if there is some unique aspect about your campground, it could
make a good feature story.
When a good story idea strikes you, don't be afraid to pick
up the phone and call the newspaper. Ask for the correct person
- consult your media contact file for the information - and
if that person is out, ask when he/she is expected back and
offer to call back. Then follow it up.
If you do write the story yourself, be sure to write it in
the third person, just as if the newspaper were doing it.
Tell the story concisely. Use fewer, not more, words to tell
Again, as in a news release, be sure to be as objective as
possible. And be sure to use photographs wherever possible
in a feature story. The use of pictures increases
your chances of getting the story published.
It could be well worth your while to cultivate the acquaintance
of a free lance writer. A freelancer is always
looking for fresh story ideas. The main advantage of working
with a freelance writer is the possibility of greater exposure.
The writer may do one story on some aspect
of your campground, but that may spin off into stories or
articles for several different trade publications or magazines
- fantastic for you!
Trade publications are excellent outlets
for feature stories, as they are dealing with material that
is primarily trade-related, so they will be receptive to news
releases and features about our industry. They are almost
always anxious to receive your news or your features, if these
are well- written.
How to handle interviews
•Keep your answers brief.
•Be confident. Don't avoid answering
questions. If your are unsure of
an answer, tell the reporter that you will get back to him
on that subject. Get the correct answer and phone the person
•Be direct and friendly. Remember
that it is perfectly all right to pause for a moment to formulate
•Don't use technical or "in-house"
•Avoid "selling". The media
reacts negatively to a direct commercial "plug"
•Be prepared. Think through the subject
matter you expect to discuss, and come up with two or three
good points to stress.
•Relax. Be yourself.
•Don't lie. It will come back to
Radio and television
•Keep your answers very brief and speak slowly.
Watch you’re "ah's", your "um's",
•Finish each sentence by dropping your voice and closing
•If you are one of several guests on a talk show,
avoid disagreeing with another guest.
•Watch out for nervous habits.
•Look at the reporter, not at the
•Pay attention to your clothing.
If possible, wear career apparel. If not, wear plain-colored
clothes (not white).
•If you have something to show or demonstrate, it
will make you a more interesting guest.
•Relax - be natural. Forget about
the camera and pretend you are chatting with a friend.
Other things to remember...
Portray the best possible image of yourself and your Camp-Resort
to your community. Community activities and involvement demonstrate
civic spirit and increase your personal visibility.
•Be a "good neighbor"
Use Yogi within your community, participating in local efforts
Offer your facilities to charitable and civic functions.
•Giving of time and talents
When possible, donate money, products or services to charitable
•And remember to Pay Your Bills Promptly.
It's a sure way to gain the respect of the local business
people and improve your public image in your community.
Emergency Press Conference
In the event of an incident on your property you must be prepared
to handle the situation in a professional manner to eliminate
or greatly reduce the problems in dealing with the media during
a crisis situation.
When faced with an emergency or crisis situation the media will
want a statement from park management and the person charged
with the responsibility of being the spokesperson should be
the only staff person allowed to talk with
Notify front desk and telephone personnel that an incident
has occurred but not to speculate or release any information.
They are to take messages for the spokesperson who should
return all telephone calls.
Advise your staff that in the event a news crew arrives
at your gate, they should be held there until the spokesperson
can go to the front gate and meet with them.
If you are the spokesperson:
Establish control, make it clear that you are the authority.
The crew will ask for permission to enter the park to film the
area of the incident. Attempt to refuse entry into the area
since it serves no purpose. Simply state that you have many
guests in the park who have been disturbed enough without bringing
a press team into the area. At the least, rope off the crisis
area and allow the media no further than that.
During your initial meeting with the press:
Introduce yourself by name
Make a statement that includes the following:
-Park's immediate concern is for the well being of those involved
-Confirm the incident; state only the facts carefully, deliberately,
-Do not release any names of incident victims
-Conclude with the park's concern for those involved
-Thank them for coming
-Inform them that you will return in 30 minutes with whatever
additional facts you have and....
-DO NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS
-In most cases, it is the police authorities' responsibility
to provide facts.
Have an assistant collect names, affiliation and phone numbers
of those present.
During subsequent meetings with the press
•Stay with the facts, if the incident is under investigation
then tell them that new facts will be revealed at a later
•Do not speculate
•Do not allow the press to go on a "fishing expedition".
You can't answer questions about something you know nothing
•Reiterate the park's concern for the people involved
and if such questioning continues end the meeting by telling
them when you'll return and leave.
•Remember the media needs you more than you need the
Do's and Don'ts
-Remember the value of a smile and a handshake.
-Acknowledge a negative but move directly to a positive.
-Have your staff play "devil's advocate". Try
to anticipate and answer the tough questions.
-Use plain language.
-Stay with the facts. Speak in 30 second quotes.
-Talk about things you know nothing about
-Bluff or lie
-Be afraid to say you don't know...but that you'll find
out and let them know
-Go off the record...ever
-Use negative buzz words like disaster, tragedy
-Lose your temper
-Offer personal opinions
-Use the term "No Comment"