Written by Leann Rich, originally published September 17, 2013
Are you writing to the media and not getting any coverage? Do you wonder how some organizations seem to have stories on the local news all the time? Here are some easy (and more importantly, free) ways to connect with the local media and get some great publicity for your museum.
- Write a great press release.
Include all the details: who, what, where and when. Provide a contact number – and be available for follow-up calls. Do the reporter’s work – include a headline, quotes and pictures.
- Cultivate your contact list.
Comb through local newspapers and news websites for names and contact emails. Make phone calls – the best contacts are those made personally. Target the news reporters and pitch story ideas. Don’t forget radio news and local university papers. (Click here for an Ohio-wide list of media links.)
- Host a behind-the-scenes tour or a sneak peek.
Reporters are just as curious as the general public. Give them a personal, behind-the-scenes tour of your site, or host a special media preview of a new exhibit. Reporters also love free food.
- Time your releases and media events.
Send press releases and schedule media events first thing in the morning. Reporters are busy writing and editing their stories later in the day.
Leann Rich is a Region 4 representative of the Alliance and Manager of Education & External Relations at Mahoning Valley Historical Society in Youngstown, Ohio.