a Strong Media Contact List
submitting anything for coverage, establish a strong rapport with
news staff. Create a contact list that includes all relevant reporters,
columnists, editors, news directors, assignment editors and talk
show hosts at all citywide, regional and community newspapers and
television and radio stations. To make the list, find a friendly
local organization or local government agency for its press list.
Other tactics are to scan the local yellow pages and call every
media outlet listed or consult a national media directory such as
Baconís directories or News Media Yellow Book.
a Newsworthy Event
include the initial formation of a group or coalition, when an important
new organization or public official supports the cause, or when
a major public event is being organized such as a rally or town
Bury the Lead!
most importantócalled the leadóin the first paragraph. It should
capture the most essential information and tempt the reader further.
Then answer the basic who, what, why, how and where. Leave the least
important information for the end so it can be edited if need be.
The story should be to one- to two-pages, double-spaced.
it Like a Pro
- Put it on
- Include date
of issue and time of release (usually "immediate").
- Give a contact
person and phone number in the top right hand corner so a reporter
can follow up for questions or to conduct an interview.
- Put a brief
heading on the top of the page; repeat the heading in shortened
form on top of succeeding pages.
- Briefly and
clearly state the organizationís name and purpose at the end of
5. A Picture
is Worth a Thousand Words
Include a photo
that illustrates the project or activity that you are announcing,
accompanied by a descriptive caption.
Three to five
days before a story should be published in a daily newspaper and
up to two weeks before a weekly paper, send the releaseóeither by
mail, fax, or email. Send it to one contact, preferably someone
who has covered the organization or project before. Never send the
same release to two different people at the same television or radio
station or newspaper.
Donít sit back
and wait to see if the story appears. Follow up with a telephone
call whether the release was mailed, emailed or faxed.