There's a parallel that can be drawn between getting the kind of news
coverage you're seeking and one of the basic tenets of advertising.

Research proves that advertising works. But, people need to see or hear the
message several times before it imprints strongly enough in their minds for
them to notice or act on it. That's why the advertisers who get the maximum
return on their investment put their message out on a regular basis. It's also
why they put it into more than one medium. They know it's the most effective
way to keep their name in the minds of as many of their customers or potential
ones, as they can. It also  increases the likelihood that it'll be remembered
and acted upon.

Advertisers who get the best return on their investment also know where their
customers are most likely to see or hear their messages, and put them there.
Some find out by surveying their customers, while others use their past
experience with different mediums to help them make these decisions.


Unless it's a big news story, or a continuing one, chances are it'll be
published just once, and broadcast for 18 to 24 hours at the most. Some news
organizations may not cover it at all. That reduces the number of times the
story is imprinted in people's minds, and number of people  who'll find out
about it.

The best and most effective way to get around this is to notify all of the
appropriate local, regional  and national news outlets that may be interested in
your story. This increases the number of opportunities for your story to be
published or broadcast, and imprinted in people's minds. IIt also increases
the likelihood they'll take notice of it, or act on it.

Don't be afraid to take a chance on a media outlet, even if you're unsure of
whether it'll be interested in the story. But, don't go overboard, either.
Advertising a retirement home on the Saturday morning cartoons probably
won't generate a lot of new business. It's the same with the news media, and
special or topical interest/trade publications.

Do your research and survey the landscape. Virtually all print and broadcast
news organizations and periodic publications have websites. They usually
have online archives, as well as information about who to contact, or how to
submit something to them for publication/broadcast. Typically, it's in the
"Contact Us" or "About Us" section of the website. Use this information to help
you make your decision.


Successful advertisers also know that how a message is presented... it's
words, it's visuals, the sounds... all play an important part in convincing
people to buy their products or services.

Why do my readers, listeners or viewers need to know about this?  That's
what reporters and editors ask themselves when they receive a press release
or story pitch. If you need to, tailor your press release, statement, etc. to
explain/demonstrate how or why their audience needs to know about it. Many
times, a few simple wording changes in the headline and first few paragraphs
will be sufficient.

Value-added bonus: The news coverage is free... something that can't be
said for advertising.

Updated on 1/19/10
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