Here are some tips for preparing yourself for effective media work in your community.
Brainstorm and create a list of media outlets. Try to consider only places where your local community would be already looking.
These might be:
Remember to compensate for schedules made far in advance.
If you're not used to the spotlight, it can be hard to know exactly what to say. We've compiled some tips to make it easier for you!
When writing a news release, keep in mind that the media receive hundreds of releases every day. Try to follow these guidelines: Keep it short and professional. Come up with a catchy headline that will attract someone's attention. Also be sure to have someone proof read it before sending.
In your first paragraph, cover the 5 W's:
Double-space your news release (if possible). Title the release "news release" or "news conference," not a "press release" or "press conference." (Press refers only to print, but media refers to all).
Have someone proof the release for spelling, grammar and content (determine whether what you are trying to relay is clear and accurate). Sometimes the person who writes the release may not notice mistakes that a fresh pair of eyes will catch.
Mail, fax or hand-deliver your release at least three weeks before you want it to go out so that there is plenty of time to get the ball rolling. Make a follow-up call the same day to verify that the assignment editor or the person you directed your release to received it. More than likely, they will let you know if they received it. If they did not, then you should offer to re-fax or deliver it again.
Always try to call the media early in the morning. The later it gets, the harder it is to reach contacts and the less time reporters have to write the story or to reserve a news slot. Always return calls from reporters immediately!
Be excited and professional. It is always important to tell the truth. If you do not know the answer to a question, say so honestly and offer to find out the information if possible.
Radio/TV and news interviews can be a very powerful vehicle for getting your message out to to a broader audience. Here are some tips for being effective when interviewed by the media.