If you have a news story that you think needs to be told; how do you go about getting it covered? Here are some tips to get events and news conferences covered. You are competing for the attention of an assignment editor or reporter. Make sure you are on top of your game!
If you have a human interest story you can always call the editor and/or pitch your idea with an e-mail.
Effective News Releases
1) Is it ,"news". Don't try and pass off an advertisement as news. Newspaper ads and commercials work better for grand openings. If you do have a grand opening and want news coverage, find an angle to help sell a story. "the doors opening" isn't a story.
2) Develop and update your mailing list. Nothing is more offensive than to have a previous news director or reporters name on the envelope.
3) Target your release- Do not send a release to a general manager or human resource director when you really want news coverage. Be specific when it comes to community calendars, current events and the assignment desk. You may want to send a news release to each.
4) Make sure you not only date your release, but make sure you have the correct day. Often stories are missed because a news release gets sent with a wrong date or day. Someday's the dates and days don't even match?
5) Make your news release one or two pages. No longer. Double spaced is preferred.
6) Use an effective headline to summarize the main content. To pique an editor's interest, a punchy headline may be all that it takes to get your story covered over another. For example; "Sweet Corn Overruns Hospital Parking Lot" vs "Farmers Market Opens Saturday"
7) Don't forget the basic information. Often the person writing the news release will get so caught up in the event that they forget to answer the Who, What, Why , Where and When of a news event.
8) Write in short sentences with action verbs. Keep language simple.
9) Check grammar, spelling and accuracy. In this day and age, spell check is a great tool, but only if the correct word is being used in the release.
10) Don't disappear. Do not put a name and contact phone number on the news release only to not have that contact person available. If your going to be a contact person,have a cell phone and be accessible. Voice mails and answering machines are frustrating for a reporter on deadline.
How to Get the Media's Attention
Early in the day is optimal; between 9:30 and 11:30 usually. Staffing at that time is normally full. Be aware of media deadlines. It's not a good idea to schedule a news conference right before or during a newscast unless you have intentions of the information being put on the air live.
Here at WLIO-TV you can always send your e-mails to: email@example.com
Of course letters and correspondence are still welcome.
Here's our mailing address. Address your letters to our Assignment Editor
Lima's Hometown Stations
WLIO 8.1(NBC), WLIO 8.2 (Fox)WOHL 35.1(ABC),WOHL 35.2(CBS)
1424 Rice Ave
Lima OH 45805