A guest post by Chloe
The first bit of press I got was when I was four – a hard-hitting story about the dangers of broken pavements in Hownslow – so you could say I know a thing or two about PR.
Getting a story in the local press is easy. It’s also a brilliant way of reaching potential donors and sponsors. And of course, there’s nothing mums love more than a newspaper clipping. Here are my top tips for getting in the pages of your local rag…
Find your contact. Give them a call and ask who the best person to send a press release to is. Even better, get the name of a reporter from the paper and ask for their email address. Then address your email personally.
Have a great photo. Your story will only get published if you have a decent photo. Make it high res, make it colourful, make it active, make it clear, make it interesting. Avoid nakedness. Local papers hate that.
Follow the standard layout for a press release:
5th March 2014
For immediate release
Short subheading explaining the main gist of the story
Your story. Write it in third person. So “The team will leave on 5th March” not “We’re leaving on 5th March”
Team leader Chloe said, “Quotes are a really good way to include opinions. So I can say that Cool Earth are the best charity in the world”, whereas the voice of the paper can’t. Chloe went on to say, “It’s best to break quotes up, and put them in bold”
You can find out more and sponsor [team name] by visiting [website]
– – – Ends – – –
Notes for Editors [This is where you put any extra useful information]
- Your contact details (mega important)
- Dates of the trip
- Repeat info about donations
- Paragraph about Cool Earth
Put Press Release in the subject of your email.
I usually put the press release in the body of the email and include a link to a dropbox download of the images, to prevent inbox-crushing huge files and attachments alerting the dreaded spam filter.
Follow up with a phone call after a few days if you haven’t heard back
Don’t forget local radio too – a great chance to get airtime and tell the world about your adventure.
If you’re asking the press to cover an event, give plenty of notice then follow up a week before with a reminder. Give all the details and don’t over-egg it. You don’t want a cross reporter who’s driven ten mile to cover a mass skydive to find three people and their aunties in a field with a stepladder and an old sheet.
Good luck! May you find your face splashed all over the paper.
Onwards, Save the world, We salute you
Chloe (PR ninja)