The Basics of Media Relations
1. Get to know the structure, departments, deadlines, and staff names and titles of print and broadcast media sources in your area.
2. Call and introduce yourself to staff. Follow up with a media kit for your organization and/or a business card.
3. Keep news releases short and concise (two pages or less).
4. Always include day- and night-time phone numbers of contacts on releases.
5. When sending more than one release to the same media source, write “cc” with appropriate names on each person’s release so everyone knows who was sent a copy.
6. Pay attention to other newsworthy events or breaking news occurring the day of your event (e.g., Tourists Opening Day). Save your news for a “slower” news day when feasible. You can also use breaking news as an opportunity to position your agency as an “expert” on the issue, to do a follow-up release, etc.
7. Don’t expect coverage for every news release or news conference. Consider timing your event so it occurs when it is easier for the media to cover.
8. Letter to the Editor and Guest Opinions are good ways to get your story told. Keep Guest Opinions under 500 words and include a paragraph about the author and a daytime number.
9. Avoid calling media during deadline times, unless it is urgent or you are returning a call.
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