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Media: How To Get Press Coverage

Step 4. Think About How To Tell Your Story

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Old Media
  • Before submitting your story, research the reporter's style and what topics the reporter seems to like. Using this information will help you grab their attention. This way you can start your pitch with: "I've noticed you've covered [insert topic here] in the past. I have a story that I think you would be interested in."
  • If you believe you will be able to speak with a reporter directly, write out a script. It will help hone your thinking.
    • Keep it short. Right now you are simply pitching your story; you are not telling the person the whole piece. Remember, the pitch is WHY they should pick up your story. Don't give too many details, just the big idea.
    • Cover all your bases.
    • Make sure to include WHY your story is an important story to be told. Include how your story relates to others beside you.
  • If you write a reporter:
    • Describe in the first paragraph a one sentence summary of the situation and why it's important that the story to be told.
    • Tell your story as briefly as you can.
    • Let the reporter know how to contact you and when you are available to speak.
    • Spell-check your story and check to be sure of the spelling of all names you use - including name of the person you're contacting.
  • Get your information in order.
    • If the reporter wants more information about your story, he or she may ask for paperwork about the situation.
    • He or she may also ask to speak with other people involved in the story. If people will support your point-of-view, let them know what you are doing and ask if they are willing to speak with a reporter. If possible, ask what they would tell a reporter.
  • While pitching your story:
    • Do not start off with the negative. Starting your pitch with: "My lawyer or my family thinks it's hopeless, but...." will not gain a reporter's interest. You may also come off as wanting to use the media for your own agenda.
    • Do not pitch the story if you are not sure where you stand legally. Even if your case is over, you may not be at liberty to discuss it and you could lose any sort of settlement you already received.
    • Do not use profanity or let your emotions become out of control. You're talking to a professional. Act like one yourself. Cursing, screaming, or crying will not help your cause.

New Media

  • Consider the type of outlet, and the type of information that not only gets posted, but also highlighted. Note whether there is a particular style to the postings, including subject and length.
  • If you believe you will be speaking with someone from the publication, read the above advice about being prepared to speak with a reporter. It will be helpful in this situation as well.

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