The local media is great way to reach others in your community who may not know about Your Story. Local media outlets like stories about conflict and human interest because it is what moves and interests their readers and listeners. It is SUPER important to keep in mind that the media is bombarded with hundreds of story possibilities on a daily basis. You need to present your story so that it stands out and gets the media coverage it deserves.
The first step in getting media coverage for your story is to identify the news outlets you’d like to have cover your story. Put together a list of some of the local media groups in your area including TV and news stations, radio, newspaper and local bloggers. Try to get your information to the right people in the right places – find out who covers the particular type of story you have. For example, there is a specific person who covers community, children and family issues. That is most likely the person who will be most responsive to you and may be willing to share your story. It’s not recommended to contact more than two reporters from the same site/location.
You should reach out to multiple stations in your area. For example, your local ABC station might not be interested, but NBC might think it’s a great story. It is recommend that you contact at least 15-20 media outlets…after all, the more people that hear your story, the more likely someone will want to cover it.
These days, between Twitter and Facebook it is very easy to contact your favorite TV station, reporters and/or news anchor. Tweet your story link to the news station or a reporter, send a personal message on Facebook and/or make a comment on the news stations’ Facebook page with a link to your story.
Another powerful way to contact a news outlet is via email. It is very important to not only tell the news outlet about your story, but to also emphasize how the story is relevant to them and why they should cover it. Here are a few key points to include in your email:
- Reasons why your story is relevant to a particular news outlet
- The main points of your story
- A link to your story
- Your contact information
Here is an example email you can send to your local media outlets:
I am participating in the “Stories From Your Heart” Contest sponsored by Move Your Mountain in honor of American Heart Month. The contest takes place the entire month of February and it’s purpose is to bring awareness for those affected by Heart Disease and Congenital Heart Defects.
I submitted my story about how I was affected by (heart disease/CHD) and thought you would be interested in sharing it with our community. My goal is to lift and inspire others with my words and through sharing about my experience.
[Include relevant points about your story that you think would be interesting]
I would like to discuss my story with you further. Please contact me at the email address/telephone number below.
(Your Name Here)
Remember – Be Persistent! This may just land you a spot on the evening news or the daily edition of your local newspaper