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There Are No Small Papers read, watch, listen to local news check out media web sites find out who covers your area call or visit reporters Get to know the news media deadlines best times to contact stories in progress; future stories how to pitch: phone, e-mail, fax

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Presentation Transcript
get to know the news media
read, watch, listen to local news

check out media web sites

find out who covers your area

call or visit reporters

Get to know the news media
the media visit spend the time asking questions
deadlines

best times to contact

stories in progress; future stories

how to pitch: phone, e-mail, fax

The media visit spend the time asking questions
media as messenger
Media as messenger
  • Reporters aren't your audience
  • Know the audience
  • What connects with them
reporters
Professionals – neither friend nor foe

Aren’t always ‘out to get you’

Don’t worry about making you look good

Asking tough questions is their job

More often generalists than specialists

Live by tight deadlines

Reporters
different reporters have different needs
Different reporters have different needs
  • Newspapers
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Web
editors and broadcasters assign news value based on
Editors and broadcasters assign news value based on:
  • Timeliness
  • Proximity
  • Prominence
  • Consequence
  • Human interest
when they call
Reporter’s name, who they work for

Who’s the audience (lifestyle, business)

What they want from you/your role

Determine if you can help

Or get them to someone who can

When do they need it -- deadlines

Reporter’s knowledge of subject

When they call…
interview format
Phone or in person

TV crew

Call-in radio show

Local or national outlet

Interview format
preparation is key
Great interviews don’t just happen

Never wing it – do your homework

Is this controversial; what will critics say

Gather background for reporters

Think visual – photos, video, graphics

Preparation is key
buy some time
It’s OK to say you can’t talk this minute

Arrange a time to call back in 15 minutes

Use time to prep -- key points, background, etc.

Call back prepared

Buy some time
your message know it hone it
You can’t tell ‘em everything

Honing message takes discipline

What do you want people to know

If you don’t know key messages, your audience won’t

Your message -- Know it, hone it
short and simple
Use simple, everyday language

Ditch the jargon, university-speak

Practice short answers

Say it aloud, never memorize

Imagine telling mom in 30 seconds

Short and simple
make it memorable
How does this affect your audience

Head, heart or pocketbook

Use 'real life' anecdotes or examples

Develop descriptive phrases or word pictures

Bah-Hum Bug

Kinder, gentler chickens

Make it memorable
during the interview
Keep your cool, be professional, pleasant

Actively listen to the reporter’s questions

Concentrate on conveying your message

During the interview
interview strategies
Interviews are more than just answering questions

Strategies help manage interview

Guide discussion back to key points

Drive, don’t ride

Interview strategies
are you getting through
Ask questions to determine if the reporter “gets it”

Provide brief background information

Offer to answer follow-up questions

Tell the reporter how to reach you later

Are you getting through?
you the reporter
Newspapers and radio stationsare often short-handed

They are happy to let you do the job if you can produce quality copy

You, the reporter
write a news release when
You have an interesting story to tell

You have important information to relay

Not every news item needs a news release

Write a news release when:
what should be in every news release
A date

A headline

Contact information

Just the facts ma’am

What should be in everynews release?
writing process
Plan: Find an idea, research and organize

Draft: Get things down on paper

Clarify: Revise your draft

Edit: Remove the excess

Proofread: Get it all correct; ask for help – four eyes are better than two

Writing process
inverted pyramid
A useful guide for organizing your news release

Readers start at the top

Editors cut from the bottom

Inverted Pyramid

Really Important Facts

Who What Where When Why

Information that helps readers

Information that provides context

Useful detail and history

top of the pyramid usually includes the 5 ws
Who

What

Where

When

Why

Top of the pyramid usually includes the 5 Ws:

Really Important Facts

Who What Where When Why

follow with information that
Immediately helps the reader

Provides context

Gives useful detail and history

Information that helps readers

Information that provides context

Useful detail and history

Follow with information that:
adjectives adverbs and exclamation points
Use them sparingly

Probably the least essential

Often hardest to remove

Add a nonobjective tone

Cuter is not always better

Adjectives, adverbs and exclamation points
make life easy for editors
Always provide contact information

Pay attention to grammar and style (but don’t obsess over them)

Learn from experience

Make life easy for editors:
how is a column different from a news release
A column is:

Regular (weekly, for instance).

Personal (you talking to your audience).

A news release is:

Irregular (usually one article).

Objective (balanced perspective).

How is a column differentfrom a news release?