7 Keys to Successful Media Relations
- Only contact the media when you have real news. Just because it’s important to you (or to your ED), doesn’t mean it’s newsworthy. You lose your credibility when you repeatedly pitch fluff.
- If you’re contacting TV news for coverage, make sure there’s a visual and highlight it in your pitch. Target your pitch. Don’t send the City Hall reporter a story on your arts organization.
- Make sure your news release follows standard newswriting format (the AP Stylebook has been the standard for decades).
- Keep it short. Try to limit news releases to one page; two at the most.
- Don’t forget free online news release distribution services. There are dozens of them. Use the internet for more massive distribution.
- Research. Don’t expect to succeed at media relations if you don’t read the paper, watch the news, or listen to the radio.
- Relationship cultivation is key. Don’t scold a reporter and remember to thank them for coverage. The former is media suicide and that latter is always remembered.
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