Here are some tips on getting a press release picked up by the media to generate interview requests from radio, newspapers and local TV. If you have a special event or launching a new book or product and need to get some media attention – do these 11 things.
1. Get newsworthy info into the hands of the media. Make a habit of sending out releases on a regular basis about your events, special speakers, or anything impacting the community at large. Use a media directory or “Google” on the web to find names and contact information.
2. Get to know the reporters of the daily and weekly newspapers. Position yourself with them as an accessible and reliable source and a key authority to be featured in future stories.
3. Send out media releases for really intriguing or fascinating human interest stories by using newswireservices. Wire services get wider distribution and can be picked up by national media via the web.
4. Become a regular advertiser in at least one publication. You build brand equity with that audience by advertising in one publication. They learn to trust you and value you.
5. Feature bold graphics and a lot of white space in your newspaper and magazine ads. Keep copy to a minimum. Steer people to your web site. Color commands attention and adds impact. It also gets better ad placement in newspapers.
6. Supply media with well-written and professionally developed presskits. Include press releases (the who, what, when, where, how and why), fact sheets, bios, photo, brochure, annual reports and news clips. Suggest a story idea in the cover letter. Use the industry format for releases to improve your chances of gaining publicity.
7. Expect very little communication back from editors. They are very busy every day with tons of lead for stories. Assign an intern or team member to follow up by phone, email, or both. But don’t BUG them!
8. Read any and all publications you can. Note stories that deal with issues important to your ministry. Add that reporter to your media contact list to send them future releases. The best media lists are the ones you personally create and are familiar with the reporter’s work and style.
9. Send out thank you notes to reporters who feature you in stories. They will remember your personal touch and will keep you in mind as a good source in the future.
10. Assign (hire) a photographer to take photos at ALL events where you are participating. Releasing the photos to the media after an event is called Post-Publicity. Send (mail) the actual photo with a brief description of the event. Identify the people in the photo with a label on the back. OR send a high resolutions via email.
11. Realize that newspapers always need good photos. Most black newspapers love to chronicle events in the community. Example, The Michigan Chronicle.
Live teleclasses where you can ask your questions and get feedback on the spot!