Do you ever turn on your TV and see local companies and organizations receiving awesome media coverage and think: HOW do THEY get on the news and HOW can MY library?
We don’t blame you! Television advertising is out of budget for most and the positive brand awareness and publicity for your library program or event seen on television or online can be priceless!
The truth is, it’s not as hard as it looks, IF you know a few PR secrets to gain that coveted media attention. Today, one of our Cardinal Rule Press staffers and PR gurus, Sarah Cavanaugh, shares her tips she’s learned over years working both IN and WITH the media:
MAKE IT NEWSWORTHY AND CREATE A CALL TO ACTION:
- What is happening at your library that is “newsworthy?” A guest author? Special community event? A kick-off to new programming? Come up with the WHAT to share with media AND have a specific ASK for the audience (Come TODAY, sign up NOW, visit this WEBSITE or come to this EVENT on this DAY).
- MEDIA DON’T: Don’t try to create media attention around small events – save your ASKS for big announcements and large events.
CREATE A MEDIA ADVISORY SHARING BASIC DETAILS:
- For those of you who took Journalism 101 in college, the simple rule still applies: Media wants to know who, what, where and WHY should they cover your event or story in very simple terms.
- Include photos, and any details possible ON VISUALS. TV stations respond to the idea that they will get create VISUALS on location.
- MEDIA DON’T:Avoid lengthy descriptions and cut out any fluff. Media producers don’t have time for that.
CONTACT THE RIGHT PERSON AND KEEP BUGGING THEM!
- Most local tv stations have very public email addresses for contacting their newsroom on their websites. Very often it’s something along the lines of newsroom@TVSTATION.com . So certainly, send your advisories to these emails.
- Research who has covered local community events in the past (is there a morning news reporter that visits schools? How about an education reporter for your local paper? WHO is covering events or stories like YOURS?). Even if this takes a little snooping online now to curate a nice list of media contacts for you, it’s well worth having this resource for events moving forward!
- Now that you have some emails – send that media advisory over to them with a personal message from you. Introduce yourself and let the reporter know you are flexible for interviews and available for on-site media coverage at your library – EVEN if it means waking up extra early!
- MEDIA DON’T: Don’t just send one email and not follow up again, wondering why no one took the bait. TRY AND TRY AGAIN. Media folks get hit with press releases all day long and the squeaky wheel REALLY DOES get the grease in this case!
We hope you’re feeling equipped to garner some great local media with these PR tips and wish you lots of amazing MEDIA COVERAGE for your next event, announcement or program. For more marketing tips and ideas, make sure and subscribe to the Cardinal Rule Press Newsletter today!
Sarah Cavanaugh, mother of two teens, Marketing and Communications Consultant living in West Michigan.