Before you make your pitch, figure out the news hook. Why would readers/listeners/viewers want to know about the organization’s __________? How is it local and topical?
Build a detailed media contact list and keep it updated.
Always call reporters back – even if you don’t want to. Respect their deadlines.
Add media contacts to your mailing list for events and newsletters in addition to news releases.
Send out news releases announcing your events as far in advance as possible.
Pick up the telephone and call a reporter or editor rather than just mailing or emailing releases.
Follow-up what you do send with telephone call.
Say thank you when you ask for and receive good news coverage.
Keep news releases brief; include the 4Ws + H – who, what, why, when, where and how.
Newsworthy organization happenings:
New initiative, survey or report unveiled
Issue position announced
New board elected
New committee or task force formed/new committee chairs appointed
Provide great visuals, particularly for TV; set up a creative photo op; or take photos yourself and email them to the newspapers or business publications.
Become known as an authoritative information source in your community on the issue your organization addresses.
When you take a position on a local (or statewide) issue, release it to the news media. (But don’t surprise the politicians or other opinion leaders, tell them about it first!)
Offer to appear on local radio or TV talk shows.
Partner with your local media outlet(s) on a project or event.
Write an op-ed on an important issue and how it affects the community or the people you serve.
Take reporters’ work schedules into account when setting up news conferences, photo or interview opportunities at events. Provide agendas in advance, or with your media kit.
If a reporter can’t come to see you, offer to go see them.