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How to Get Press to Your Event

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By Hallie Shoffner

You have a press conference, commemoration ceremony, community health/job fair, etc. coming up in a few days. You want to get your local TV stations involved. You’ve already got a stellar press release, but how do you get the reporters and cameras to cover the event?

1. Identify the assignment editors. These guys and girls are the people that send reporters and camera operators out into the world. The reporters themselves can request stories, but you are more likely to have success if you go straight to the top.

2. Send your press release at 8:15 am (day-of the event) with the subject line “Today: Event Name.” Assignment editors gather everyone together between 8:30 – 9 am every morning to say who goes where to cover what. Send your release just before to make sure it’s the last email they see before that meeting.

3. Call at 8:20 am. After you send the release, call the assignment desk. Explain who you are and that you just sent a news release. Politely ask, “Do you think someone will be able to come out and cover the event?”

There are no guarantees with the media especially if they are covering the newest scandal, disaster, etc. However, following the above steps will give you a better chance that a TV van will show up. 

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Hallie Shoffner is a public relations specialist with a Master in Public Service from the Clinton School of Public Service.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons, DSB Nola, Save Charity TV 1.

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