Expand your Media Exposure
In addition to any promotional efforts you may spearhead yourself via your website or social media accounts, it’s great to have some outside help. Connecting with and maintaining good relations with the media will help you gain more public exposure for your organization and events.
The following tips are simple ways to submit information to the media, and how to best connect with them on a frequent basis.
Submitting Calendar Listings
The fastest and easiest way to get publicity for your organization is to send information about upcoming events that can be used in various events calendars. You can submit your events to the RAC Events Calendar here.
All calendar listings should include the Who, What, When, and Where of your event. You can email the information directly to the publication.
Here is an example of how to create your listing.
Creating Media Releases
An easy and official way to spread information about your event is through a media release. This can be shared on your website and social media channels, as well as be submitted to different publications or websites so they can also post the information. You control the content, and should include all pertinent information to the event.
Things to consider when writing your media release:
- Be concise.
- Get to the point early.
- Keep your target audience and needs of the media in mind.
- Consider the “hook” – What makes it new and exciting? Editors always ask “What is in it for my audience?”
Follow these examples for crafting the perfect media release:
Contacting Media Outlets
It’s important to remember each media outlet has a different timetable for which you need to submit event information. Planning ahead is important.
As a general guideline:
- Daily Newspapers require information eight days to two weeks in advance
- Weekly Newspapers require information two to three weeks in advance
- Monthly Publications require information two to three months in advance
- Radio Stations require information eight days to two weeks in advance
- Television Stations require information two days to two weeks in advance
To get the most updated information about deadlines for print media, see our Calendar Media Contacts.
Depending on the outlet, you can submit your information electronically or by mail or fax. Please contact the outlet in advance to find out which method they prefer.
When sending your information via email, make sure it stands out from other pitches by using the following tips:
- Use a subject line of six words or less.
- Make each journalist think the pitch was written only for him or her when, in fact, the person pitching sent an identical or similar pitch to dozens of other journalists. With a little tweaking, the pitch looks like it was created only for a specific newspaper or magazine.
- Press an editorial hot button by using words and key phrases that entice the journalist to keep reading. For example, the email pitch might mention a tie-in to a breaking news event.
- Eliminate the word “publicity” or other phrases that turn off journalists and make them hit the “delete” key.
- Send an enticing follow-up email.
After you have e-mailed or faxed your release, follow up with a phone call. First, ask if the release has been received. Then, tell a compelling story about why your organization should be covered.
When calling to follow up about a media release, be mindful of a reporter’s schedule. Good times to call are 6 a.m. – 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. When you leave a message, start and end with your name and phone number. Make sure you have your talking points, or essential pieces of information ready. Make it exciting for the person you are talking to! Be thorough but brief!