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.
Need to find an expert for a story or article on agricultural productivity or animal genetics? Bioengineering or bioluminescence? Climate change or community development? Diabetes or drought?
Look no further than the new Experts Directory that contains detailed descriptions of almost 300 authoritative sources from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Virginia Cooperative Extension. The college is home to world-renowned scientists who are addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the planet.
Faculty members from the college and Virginia Cooperative Extension are working on issues ranging from agricultural productivity to animal welfare, bioengineering to bioluminescence, diabetes to drought, and climate change to community viability.
Members of the media, fellow scientists, and others can easily find the expert they are searching for using keywords, departments, subject area, or names.
A new Newsroom site also is available where you can learn about the latest news from the college, trends in agriculture, upcoming events, videos, research blog posts, and more.
Good news! The findings from the research you have been working on for years have been accepted for publication by a major journal!
Get in touch with Office of Communications and Marketing. And the sooner the better.
By working with us, we can increase the profile of your work both within Virginia Tech and in the outside world, help you fill in some important blanks in your eFARS report, appease your external funding sources, and potentially pull in new streams of revenue.
So how do you do it?
Chances are, you know that your article is going to be published months ahead of time. This is the moment when you should get in touch with our office.
Our standing joke is that if you call us and tell us that you are going to be on the cover of “Nature” tomorrow, we’ll tell you congratulations. But if you tell us a month before, we’ll tell you that we can try to get you some high-impact media coverage.
The advantages of letting our office know early are many.
First off, we are working on many different releases and publications at once, so we can’t drop everything for a last-minute request.