Contacting the media - who and how
What is News?
It must be important or of interest to the audience.
It must be more important and have greater interest than competing news.
When to Contact the Media
All news media can respond the same day, often within hours or less, to a late-breaking, hard news event. However, they require a certain amount of lead time to prepare information of less immediate importance for printing or broadcasting.
· Send press releases to daily newspapers so they can arrive one or two days in advance of your target date.
· When requesting an interview, contact individual reporters or editors a week or more ahead of the desired interview date.
Television and Radio
· About the same lead time as for newspapers, but contact three or four weeks in advance for talk show programs.
· Contact news personnel in the mid-morning.
Whom to Contact
Television – for news, contact the news assignment editor; for a talk show, contact the show’s producer.
Radio – for news, contact the news manager or general manager; for a talk show, contact the show’s producer.
Newspaper – contact the city editor for most local news, the business or economics editor for business news, or the consumer editor.
For any medium - “pitch” to individual reporters; they will in turn pitch it to their editors.
How to Contact Media Representatives
· For “routine” announcements, send a news release or fact sheet to the appropriate gatekeepers/reporters.
· To arrange an interview, call, fax or write an introductory letter to ask for an interview or visit.
· Not all interviews lead to a story. You might simply request some time to explain what credit unions are all about, and their impact in the community.
Remember to Nurture the Relationship
· Call or write and thank the producer or reporter after the program has aired or the story has been printed.
· Use that letter or call to suggest additional interview topics or story ideas.
· Add them to your mailing list.
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