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5 Tips to Get Media Attention

Here’s 5 ways to get media attention Whatever business you are in, we are always seeking ways to get more media attention. .

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What really is the best way to approach a reporter or journalist to cover the news or about your event?

I asked this question on a group on Linkedin, I’ve only included a few comments, there were actually 52 responses. Some repetitive, some more of a discussion what they liked or don’t like to receive.

1. Be honest… and be open to what the story could be. Also, try to develop a relationship with reporters that could lead to ongoing coverage of your organization. Sometimes the story might be about your group; other times it might be about non profits in general. By Ray Metoyer

2. Send a brief e-mail with an eye catching headline in the “Subject” line, put in parenthesis (“Local story idea”).

3. Make it clear that you can make available “real people” for sound bites impacted by the story you’re pitching.

4. Look at your e-mail a 2nd time to see it’s like a firework that quickly catches your attention. If it doesn’t capture your imagination right away, re-write it until it does.
Good Luck: Hope this helps! By Steve Long

Jeff Korhan wrote a great article on how to write emails that get a response.

WOW! I just came to here to say “when pitching anything to a reporter, be a human being.”

Public Relations know that a journalist needs a peg of some sort, but I’d be wary of “finding an angle” for them, or suggesting b-roll, additional interviews, etc. The reporter will decide what he or she needs to tell the story.

Just keep it real and be helpful when necessary. Know the outlet’s demographic. And please, please don’t send out a bunch of follow-up emails if you don’t hear back. One is fine, but more than that is just irritating.
By Stacey Kennelly

I agree with most of what’s being said here. But there’s one thing not yet addressed specifically: community news sections. I work for a large regional daily newspaper as an editor of several community news sections. These little separate sections are circulated in very small, circumscribed areas: usually just two to four zip codes, with news about that small area. We’re a landing spot for stories too small for metro to touch.

If your goal is to expose more people to what your agency is and what it does, tell a success story. If it helps homeless people make the transition to self-sustainability, find a client who’s willing to tell readers how they became homeless, what that experience was like, how they learned about the nonprofit’s program, what the program does, whether they found it effective, what helped most, where they are on progress toward the transition and so on. Identify the person and make sure they’re willing to let readers know what happened. Don’t pitch that story if you don’t have someone lined up to do that. Then tell the reporter/editor you have a person who’ll talk about their experience of homelessness and the agency’s help.

Especially with community sections, if you want publicity about a fundraiser, pitch it *well* in advance; I recommend a month. I can’t tell you how often I get emails asking me to write about a fundraiser that’s happening tomorrow, or this weekend. My sections are released for typesetting *nine* days before publication. Obviously we don’t do breaking news, nor can we get your event in the paper on such short notice. If I don’t know about it *at least* a week before that typesetting date — i.e., 16 days before the event — I have no chance to get it into the paper, although if I’m convinced it’s worth the last-minute addition to my or my writer’s workload, I may be able to get a brief posted online.

Anyway, nobody starts planning a fundraiser a week before it happens. If you send me a release two or three days before an event that’s been on your calendar for two months, I’ll know you’re contacting me as an afterthought, which is just rude. I’ll still do my best with it, but at that point the best I can do for you is a brief, if that.

Don’t expect me to “cover” a fundraising event. Nobody cares what happened at an event that’s already over, unless you had a parade of caribou circle the dining room, ridden by waiters carrying flaming baked Alaskas, and one of the caribou went bananas and bolted over guest tables. I can put the amount raised in a brief. But if you have someone who can take good pictures, have them do so and send me the two or three best frames — the ones showing people (or crazed caribou) doing things, rather than people standing there looking at the camera. Fill the frame with your subject, ID everybody, and send it to me as a medium-sized JPEG file. A hole may open up during makeup that a picture and caption would fill very nicely. Preferably, the caption says how much was raised.

You may object that I could put it a full story online if it’s too late for print, but I use almost exclusively freelance writers, and my freelance budget is tightly constrained. I have to make all our stories do double duty, print and online. If I went nuts and agreed to go online-only because print deadlines have passed, I’d be doing you a *huge* favor that costs me money that otherwise would be helping to fill a print community section.. By Scott Verner

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