How to get your news in the media

how to get your news in the media, Catarina's World

Media coverage can make wonders for your business. So solid news media strategies should be part of well-rounded publicity campaigns. As opposed to advertising, articles have high credibility, are read and for free – if you manage to get the editors’ interest.

So how do you get journalists to publish your news? What can you do to improve your chances of getting published in newspaper, radio, television or online?


Develop contacts in the media

Learn how journalists and editors work and decide what to publish. It’s easier than you believe. Media is constantly looking for news and are happy to write about companies and business people, provided they consider the story to be of interest to their readers. Do you have a story to tell, positive news or wish to comment on something in the news related to your business? Pick up the phone and call the journalist. This can be particularly fruitful if your organization has an ongoing need to be in the newspaper or on TV.

Create news

Editorializing your news is crucial. What subjects are media interested in and why? What would make them interested in what you have to tell? Read, watch and study as many news outlets as possible and try to understand what makes news. Then present it in ways that make the journalist feel it is newsworthy.

Get to the point and keep it short

When sending press releases to media covering your field keep it short to the point. If it’s long and complicated the editor may not even read it. Don’t make it appear like advertising, boast or complicate it because that can work against you. Focus on what’s new, trendy, unusual, interesting, and of significance to the broadest numbers of readers. News organizations also love stories that arouse deep emotions – love, sympathy, hate, fear, anger – feelings that people can identify with.

Call the media swiftly

Journalists are flooded by emails so the best way of succeeding is to call him/her. Once you have got them interested in your story you can proceed with sending an email with information. And be swift. Nobody is interested in yesterday’s news. If you spend too much time contemplating how to best get results you will miss the boat. Arrange a news conference if you believe, or know, you news will generate significant media attention.

Need help?

If necessary use a PR & Communications consultant. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune but is well worth it. Media coverage can be make or break for your business so until you master the art of handling the press it is money well spent.

Don’t hesitate to be interviewed and profiled in the media because it increases your chances of getting your news published. Look at Richard Branson. He masters the art of using himself as a living “advertisement” for Virgin Group. And I don’t need to tell you how successful he is. Where would Virgin be today if Richard hadn’t manged to get an abundance of media coverage? Don’t be afraid to ask for coverage and propose specific ideas. Your story could become the centerpiece on the front page. Don’t be discouraged or argumentative if your idea falls on deaf ears. You will learn from the experience. And don’ forget that the editor may turn you down today simply because the staff ’s time is taken up by other assignments. Be persistent. Be positive. Develop more and better ways to pitch your organisation into the news media. And whatever you do, don’t forget that if they don’t like you they will not publish your news. So make sure you come across in ways that make both you and the company look good.

Picture: Jon S

81 thoughts on “How to get your news in the media

  1. A good article, Catarina!

    As you say, one of the key points is – as you put it – to create news. I call it, "having an opinion." A press release for your new Widget 1.02 is unlikely to attract interest or attention, but a story about how customers can benefit through saving time/money/whatever (particuarly in the context of current events) with Widget 1.02 is likely to get a good deal more coverage…

  2. Wonderful post with sage guidance. I love the idea of injecting emotion into content. If we pay close attention the some of the best marketing campaigns on the planet, they successfully evoke strong emotion and count on our impulsiveness action based on that emotion. Good idea too to keep it short and effective with a strong introduction.

  3. Great tips Catarina. I have limited experience doing this but I can attest to your point that editors welcome fresh content that appeals to their readers. So, we should definitely be open to approaching them.
    My recent post The Rise of the Cyber Cold War

  4. When you want to get noticed, you really have to be media-savvy. A little publicity is better than nothing! Thanks for sharing this, Catarina!

  5. Great article. I especially appreciated the fact that no matter how difficult it might be, it is imperative to pick up the phone and make the initial contact voice to voice. If you just send an email you will drown in an ocean of email messages that will be purged in six months when you get a deleted not read message. Call-write-call is the only way to go.

  6. I heard like following journalists on twitter is good. But to get noticed one need to have real connections. You give great tips. Yes, if you have a business, it is very important to be in the media as an expert. Nice article Catarina.
    My recent post Toronto Zoo

  7. Really enjoyed the post Catarina – you really brought it home that everyone has a story and that if you don't put it forward it won't get told. I have tended to think 'oh why would they be interested' , but your article has encouraged me to approach them. Thanks so much. Look forward to more posts with subscription to yr site.
    My recent post Editing Forward

  8. Great article. I have experienced this phenomenon nearly forty years ago, when I called a editor of a highly circulated youth magazine on Sunday morning and told him " I have traveled 2240 kms to have breakfast with you today"
    The response was expected " He said he is going to wait till I reach and gave me directions.
    I spent nearly whole day with him, even had lunch together. He called me next day in his office. I was interviewed and photographed. Four weeks later I was on the front page of the magazine. That created a wave in the company and they decided to help me by funding my innovations. From that time I have been telling people that publicity is 95% success, hardwork alone is 5% success.

  9. Great article Catarina! I think people have forgotten the news as a source of non-advertising promotion. And Richard Branson is indeed the poster boy for this type of promotion. Solid tips, too.

  10. Great article Catarina! Thank you posting this as I’m about to embark on some press releases for the UK, in my old stomping ground…

  11. Excellent advice and very useful. I've noticed a shying away from traditional media activity lately in preference for social media, which is not the same thing at all. So much of good PR is good sense and by far more effective for getting your message out even if the message is to get people to social media. 🙂
    My recent post Do You Plan For Serendipity?

  12. As an entrepreneur, capturing the media's eye is much harder. Good things to do are subscribing to PRNews or PRWeb, writing a brief news release and regularly submitting. I think it takes consistency, being relevant to one's target market, and being creative at the same time. Never pass up a chance to promote oneself. Additionally, being controversial and going against conventional wisdom with some great points to back up your opinion is also a new-getter. Nice recap!
    My recent post 5 Cool Social Media Shortcuts To Try

  13. Hi Catarina – this is so true. When I took over the management of a charity, it was basically a 'hole in the wall' operation, unknown to most people in the community. I decided to change that and within months I had organized a free event for youth groups which appealed to the media and I had TV, Radio and Press coverage of the event. After that it was easy to let them know when I was planning another newsworthy event and they always responded. Did wonders for the organization.

  14. Richard Branson is a great example, as was Steve Jobs. When you think of those people you think of their products. You make very good points with this posts. When considering contacting media with your news I think the question might be, What’s in it for them?” Will your news be something their readers want to know about?

  15. I like your point about making contacts with journalists. In this digital age, we underestimate how important and useful it is to actually go out of your way to meet someone. Reaching out to someone as a person will make an impression on them, and hopefully that will translate into them thinking of you when they are putting together a story for publication.

  16. Very interesting post on news and media . The Department I work for has a great relationship with media and happy to share our good news stories with them. In my personal life- I contacted the local paper to ask if they would like to do a feature on my son who had volunteered in London Olympics . The paper loved the story and contacted my son for an interview
    My recent post Silent Sunday: Jalebi, Gathia and sambharo

  17. I really agree with number two, but have yet to really cultivate actively creating news. Although what can be considered “news” does see to be shifting in the 21st century.

  18. You made a good point about making contacts with journalists. I have my nose in my internet business so it is important to hire someone who knows what the media is looking for. I never thought of doing a press release for a newspaper and plan to give it some thought.

  19. I so agree with you Catarina. Taking some time to know what the journalists interests are helps as well. To do that, it helps to read a few of their articles to gain some insight into their take on different issues or events. With the advent of SM, you can learn a great deal about each journalist's of interests by reading about them and what they share. All this can enhance one's ability to grow a positive relationship. Just my thoughts. 🙂
    My recent post My Little Howdy Doody: #Story

  20. Great tips, thank you! Media coverage = free advertising so investing time in developing relationships and sending out your message really helps the bottom line!

  21. Very timely information. Just as I am trying to figure out how to best get press releases out about the book that I recently wrote with my daughter, Sweden's youngest non-fiction writer Maria Bern: Green Smoothies – Weight Loss Recipes. It is now published on Amazon, but I know that is just the start…. Many thanks! / Sara Bern
    My recent post Learning on the go – Radio ads |Green Smoothies Weight Loss Recipes

  22. Very true article. I think people may be surprised at what a simple phone call can do, along with the ability to tell your story in a way that is relevant to the readers/ viewers of the media source you are contacting.

  23. This is so true. My Charity depended on goodwill and visibility so I had developed a great media strategy. I would often pick up on Nathional Awareness Months or days and actually write a newspaper/radio release around the theme. 90% of the time it was printed as submitted with no changes.
    I also made sure I was available for last minute TV/Radio interviews if someone else had cancelled.
    Besides building great relationships with the media, it was always interesting and lots of fun. .

  24. Great tips, Catarina. Some small businesses tend to get a little wordy when it comes to press releases. I agree that it should be straight and to the point. Media wants content that readers can understand.

  25. Possibly the single most annoying thing to reporters and editors is when they are approached by people who don't know what they do and what they cover. There are still an awful lot of PR people out there who take a scatterblast approach to communicating with journalists rather then doing their homework and identifying who would really be interested in their story.

  26. It may be hard to catch the media eye, but I think a lot of businesses, especially smaller businesses, don't recognize the newsworthy moments that occur, because it's not directly related to advertising. There may be a mindset shift needed to reach out to media in more situations.

  27. Maybe, Donna. It probably varies from company to company. When I was a journalist/editor an abundance of companies thought something newsworthy was happening in their business that would interest nobody but themselves.

  28. My dream job as a teenager was to be a journalist/news reader. Circumstances meant I took a different direction in my career. However, I am slowly moving back towards this;

    I write for a magazine
    I blog
    I write for my church (ocassionally)

    With the tough competition out there, I wonder if I have anything more to offer than the budding, young, enthusiastic twenty somethings.

  29. This is an informative, but also very important post. Getting information out to the media, can make or break an organization or person. As an author, I was limited to having this done by my publisher, who did not do a good job. As a result, I got very little coverage, even by my local papers when my novel was first published.

  30. I hadn't at all though about media coverage at this point, but it does seem like a good idea. I know many entrepreneurs who've appeared in segments on the local news. I haven't ever tried to go that route because I live in Los Angeles where they often get celebrities to appear on the local news stories. But media is something worth investigating in the future. Thanks for the information!

  31. Great points Catarina. With all the info available on social media, I find it helpful to learn more about the editors and journalists to see what their interests are, what type of articles they publish etc. Think this makes it easier to start and then grow a relationship.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *