Inviting the Media
In addition to inviting your elected officials, invite your local media to your event and make a splash! The fact that your elected officials are attending your event is newsworthy, and your officials will appreciate the spotlight. Take advantage of this opportunity to build public awareness about your programs.
Prior to the event
· E-mail a press release: The press release is a short piece that includes the "who, what, where, when and why" about your event. The press release should be e-mailed or faxed to newspaper, television and radio reporters at least 5-10 days in advance of your event. (See the sample press release in" Sample Documents")
· Follow up with a phone call to each reporter 3 days before your event. Remind them about your event and ask if they plan to attend. Be prepared with a few talking points to sell your event,including the names of all elected officials that will be attending or that are quoted. Consider practicing your “pitch” with a colleague before making your first call.
During the event
· Delegate a member of your organizing committee to greet the press and act as host and escort throughout the event.
· Provide each reporter with a simple press kit including a press release and sampling of any previous press clippings you might have and a business card or note with contact information.
· Ask reporters when they plan to publish or air a piece on your event. Request copies.
· If no reporter can attend, take pictures yourself, write up the event, and send to your local paper with a cutline or short write-up for an after-the-fact article.
After the event
· Designate members of your organizing committee to search the local papers for press coverage. Save articles for future use. If your event received television coverage, call the station and request a videotape copy.
Finding Your Local News Media
Check http://www.usnpl.com/nhnews.php to find the web sites and contact information of your local print, online, college, radio and television media.: