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.
Newsroom Phone Number - 419-228-5909
Newsroom Fax - 419-225-6109
Newsroom E-mail - email@example.com
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
Determine the appropriateness of a full blown news conference carefully. If there is any doubt, don't have one. If you have some news, you may be better off announcing it and having the representatives "available " at a designated time and place to expand on it.
Select a logical location for the event. It should be as convenient to all reporters as possible. You may select a less central location if it increases the understanding or the newsworthiness of your announcement. If the event might be covered live, keep access to electricity and cable runs in mind. It's difficult to do a live news conference on the third story of a building when you can't make a cable pull.
Don't crowd headlines. Early in the day is better for most new conferences or availabilities.This gives the reporter more time to digest the announcement and go into more depth with their report.
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.
Notify your contacts about your news conference two or three days in advance by e-mail , fax or by phone. In the case of a statewide event, you can notify the Associated Press.
Telephone key media contacts the day before your event with a reminder. Make sure they got your information. DO NOT plead or wheedle- the editors will make their own decisions as to whether it is newsworthy. Most editors will not make an immediate commitment due to possible breaking news taking precedent.
Usually only one spokesperson should make the announcement or deliver a statement. Never more than two newsmakers.
Practice, Practice, Practice. Read your statement out loud. Anticipate questions that might be asked and prepare answers.
Begin the news conference on time. Stop within 30 minutes or as soon as questions start to drag.
Follow-Up. Offer to remain to talk to reporters who might have more questions. Sometimes reporters might be looking for their own angles and for competitive reasons, refrain from asking their questions.
Have background information delivered to all who attend and to news organizations who expressed interests but did not show up. Radio stations especially appreciate the chance for a telephone interview after the conference if they are not able to attend.
Here at WLIO-TV you can always send your e-mails to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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