Thursday, December 20, 2007

Activism 101: the News Release

If you want to get press coverage for your event, you need to alert the press that your event is happening. For years, Ravenhub and I have been writing news releases for events we support. We both were journalists in the distant past and have a familiarity with the lingo, plus the knowledge of what a working reporter needs to know in order to pitch and/or cover a story.

This piece will be going out in a couple of hours. I'm particularly proud of it for a number of reasons. It covers all the bases: who, what, when, where and why. It puts the event in context and it notes a recent news story that a reporter can cite if the editors allow more than a paragraph or photo of the event.

I've posting the images so you can see the standard set-up for a news release. I'll also post the text below. Feel free to use this and adapt it for your own events.

Once you write and produce the press release, you need to get it to the press. We create a pdf file that can be e-mailed as well as print copies that can be faxed. We have a list of media contacts we've built up over the years. These are both reporters that we've worked with in the past as well as the generic "city desk" address in news rooms for local media outlets.

Our fax machine is programmable, so we scan in the info, load up a bunch of contact numbers and let the thing go until it's done. When our kids lived at home, they were willing to do this part for us, for a small tip. Our land line is tied up for a while, but that just means a bit of peace and quiet.

In addition to the press release, we'll include a copy of the flyer we made for the event (posted earlier in the blog somewhere).

Please, let's not reinvent the wheel every time. Copy whatever you need and go forth into the life of presstitution!


News release front - Photo Hosted at Buzznet


News release back - Photo Hosted at Buzznet


ng2000 said...

Another resource for you: