Publishing a press release is a great way to get exposure for your company’s latest project, launch or campaign. Sometimes taking it a step further, i.e. getting in touch with local news outlets, is also appropriate.
Here’s what you need to know about what kind of content is newsworthy, and how to bring it to the media’s attention.
Pay Attention to the News
This may seem simple, but watching and reading the news keeps you tuned in to what people are talking about, and what they want to hear more about. Is it a holiday season? Have people been affected by severe weather in your area?
Noting questions like these will help you determine whether or not your newest product, event, etc. is something that would attract the general public.
Hint: if it’s not, then it’s probably not the right thing to contact the media about.
Know the Local Audience
Again, producing a story about the latest and greatest thing in your world may seem eye-opening and useful to you, but ask yourself - who is going to be affected or find it useful outside of your industry?
Just as you would cater to the general public, it’s important to note who makes up the general public, whether this is based on location or viewer/reader demographics.
When Should you Reach out to the Media?
It might seem intimidating to make a cold call or send a one-off email to a news anchor, because it is. But knowing exactly what to say and exactly who to say it to will help with that.
Think about the story you want to get out there. Now think about your local news anchors - is there a certain local reporter who typically shares pieces related to the one you want to pitch? If so, they are the person you should reach out to. If not, you may need to do more research until you find the right fit.
Press releases are good to have, but realistically, reporters do not have the time to read through them. If you are going to email a reporter, be sure to outline the most important parts to the story, who will be affected, and why it is important. This saves them time and effort, and increases the chance of landing your story on the news.
How Exactly do you Reach out to the Media?
You can find contact forms on the website of every news outlet to get in touch with anchors or to send news tips to stations. Remember, reporters are always on a time crunch, so be concise and straight to the point when reaching out.