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Home  > Article

Media Boot Camp: Wisdom That Works

By Rachel Asher

In this day and age, everyone can benefit from a media boot camp that provides useful tips for effective media coverage.

Recently, a colleague and I found a "media boot camp" workshop at the Non-Profit Center in Boston. Since both of us work on marketing strategies, we figured we would take advantage of the opportunity. The lecture was both interactive and interesting, so I thought I'd share the top 10 major take-aways!

Top 10 Tips for Better Media Coverage:

1) Make sure it's NEWSWORTHY. How?? This is where the social psych comes persuasive! If you've read The Tipping Point, you know that viral marketing is the key to spreading ideas. Know your audience, make sure your news is as VISUAL as possible, and "ride the wave" by following up on hot-topics.

2) Know how to reach the media. Keep it simple and make sure it is easy to understand. People working for the media are busy so the earlier you contact them, the better. And always follow up!

3) Press-release advisory. Send your "media advisory" (1-pager) to the press in advance. There is a good chance they will print your press-release as long as it is objective and well-written!

4) Request an editorial board meeting. Offer the editor of the local paper a "hook"- or special reason that they should talk to YOU. Talk about something recent or local in the news, and how it is relevant to your organization.

5) Op-ed pieces in papers. (600-800 words). Make sure you pitch it to them the next day.

6) Write a letter to the editor (150-250 words). FYI: letters to the editor are the second most important/most looked at part of a newspaper (after photo captions). This is the best way to reach out to long-standing members of the community.

7) Local access television! This is important because it reaches an audience with a similar demographic profile, and local congressmen...etc. Your story will also be repeated over and over again on the local station....and it's FREE!

8) Local radio stations. They are usually desperate for content!

9) Weblogs/ YouTube. Figure out which blogs target which corporations, and talk to the editors of blog sites.

10) Stay in touch with people. Send out newsletters. Research has shown that it takes exposure to something 7 times before it "clicks!"

Rachel Asher is a Summer Fellow with New Sector Alliance. Read her blog here.

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