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A Quick Public Relations Media Review

» Introduction
A quick overview on how to pitch the various media outlets.
» Step 1
Television: Remember to target your local media including cable or community college TV. Study the various programs, some are talk, others are news, and others are community-oriented in their scope. When sending a release to television news programs, allow three days to one week lead time. When sending information to talk shows, allow at least three two to four weeks. Study the last ten minutes of broadcast on the local news. That time slot usually features soft news and human interest stories.

» Step 2
Magazines: Look for special-interest publications dedicated to covering news in your field. These are magazines that are devoted to one particular field or area. When pitching a story to a weekly magazine, send your information out one month to six weeks in advance. If pitching a monthly magazine, make sure to get your information to the editor a minimum of three months in advance. If you are pitching a Christmas-oriented story, send it in August. Keep magazine guides in mind as potential media outlets. These are tourist-oriented publications that are usually distributed in hotels and in some restaurants.
» Step 3
Newspapers: When pitching the local newspapers, develop a hook that is local in its scope or is community-oriented. If you are pitching a daily or metro newspaper make sure to allow a minimum of two weeks. Although there have been countless stories predicting the death of newspapers, remember over one half of the country receives a daily paper. This is an extremely powerful, multi-billion dollar industry. When pitching a weekly or biweekly paper, allow a minimum of three weeks. Offer to write articles for trade, community-based or local publications, free of charge. Also keep in mind ethnic-oriented papers which are rapidly growing around the country. Don't overlook club newsletters, church bulletins, business association newsletters and small newspapers.
» Step 4
Radio: It is not a medium to be ignored. To pitch a story to a radio program, send your
information at least two weeks in advance. Many radio shows have call-in formats, so prepare to answer a variety of questions. If you have an 800 number, make sure and ask the producer if you can give it out over the air. Also make sure and leave your phone number with the station to give out to listeners who call in for information. If you have call waiting, remember to disconnect it before conducting an interview.
» Step 5
Newswire Services: Newswire services, such as AP, gather information and provide stories to other media. The stories are written by the service's reporters and transmitted to newsrooms around the country. Newswire services also have a daybook, which list the day's newsworthy events. Unless it’s breaking news, when pitching a story to a wire service make sure to send your information a minimum of two weeks in advance.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008
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