It used to be that all you needed to do was send a press release about your event or program to the local media outlets, and you could count on getting some coverage.
Boy, things sure have changed.
Today, news is immediate. Fewer people are getting their information from traditional news sources; instead they are turning to the Internet, social media, and other digital sources.
The news media and the public have limited attention spans. If they don’t catch your message right away, they are off to something else.
So how can you make sure your information isn’t getting lost in the sea of competing messages? Here are a few tips to help get your news noticed.
Make sure your information is newsworthy.
Help reporters cut through the clutter by providing them with information that is meaningful to their audiences.
- Is your information timely? It should be about something that is happening now or in the future. Not history.
- Is it local? News is about people. How does your information affect your neighbors?
- Is your information useful? For example, can something be done now that could not have been done previously?
- Is the information interesting?
Know your media outlets.
While sharing your message at a meeting could reach 50, 100, or perhaps 500 people, a story in a single newspaper, magazine, or website could reach thousands. To get your information in the news, you need know the reporter and what they are covering.
- Make yourself media savvy — listen, watch, and read. Become familiar with the different types of media outlets in your geographic area. Learn what they cover and what regular columns and features might be the best match for your information.
- Find out what topics are being covered so you can offer related stories.
- Learn the names of local reporters and the subjects they cover. If you want reporters to keep answering your calls and opening your emails, make your news relevant to individual reporters.