Eleven Steps for Working With the News Media for Better Coverage of Your Organization
Get to know news reporters and editors and make your organization known to them before you need them.
Keep the relationships well oiled, with frequent new, accurate, information, and invite them for a chat over coffee or lunch.
Know your subject, including the most current data, so you can become a reliable source of information, and be sure to have available good media packages.
Compile stories of your organization’s achievements, include good numbers, and pitch the stories to the news organizations. The better you write the stories, the more likely they are to be used.
Prepare one or two senior staff and your board chairperson to be spokespersons to the media, in addition to yourself.
Remember that any conversation with a reporter is “on the record” unless you have both agreed before hand that it is off the record.
Keep news releases to real news. And it’s OK to make it touching and heartwarming – as long as it includes lots of verifiable facts.
Hold a news conference only when you have something urgent and important to report.
Get to know editors and send them information and commentaries on current news events that they can use in editorials.
Get to know the radio talk-show hosts in your community and send them information periodically so they will know that they can call you when they do programs covering your issue.
Keep doing it – throughout the year.
This should get you started. If you think you need to learn more before you can do this work, please take a look at our workshops, where you or your staff members can learn more. If you find that you don’t have the time or staff who can take on the work, you may need to hire professional help. In that case, give us a call.
© 2009 - 2010 Savage/Meléndez & Associates, LLC