This article will show you how to contact news reporters and send them a compelling story for your best chances to be covered by local media.
Local Media Outlets Are Looking for a Great Story
Rather than simply sharing your campaign link and why you need support, focus on why your story will be engaging to the news outlet’s audience. Journalists don’t want to provide you with free advertising. Instead, they want to entertain and provide value to their readers. Find your angle—how does your campaign do this for them?
What to Send Them:
- A short, clear story that will engage their audience. To get the attention of journalists, start with a short blurb explaining your story, the connection it has to the community, and why it’s so interesting. Once they’re engaged, they’ll read your campaign description with the details!
- Your campaign link. Don’t forget it! P.S. Have you customized your campaign link yet?
- Great photos or video. Make sure to include 2-3 high resolution photos. Photos of people are usually better than photos of places. If a news outlet does decide to feature your campaign, they will eventually need this, so providing photos from the get-go makes your story even more compelling. Bonus points for having a video to share.
- Your unique angle. What sets your story apart from others? Why will their audience fall in love with your story?
Contact the Right News Outlets
Make sure you’re contacting new outlets that will be interested in stories like yours. Have a heartwarming story about the adorable puppy you just rescued? Business Weekly is probably not the best news outlet to go to.
You can either look for media sources that relate to the category of your campaign (medical, pets, etc.), or crowdfunding in general.
Tip: Look for individuals, rather than bombarding dozens of journalists. Targeting the right people will get you better results than spamming organizations.
How to Contact Them
- Find their email. Once your story is concise, you’ve identified a great journalist, and you have beautiful photos ready to go, search the internet for the contact information of your journalist.
- Use social media. Social media platforms—like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook—are excellent places to reach out to reporters and journalists. With a simple use of “@,” you can get the attention of someone who could be interested in your story.
- Look for the contact form. Not finding your journalist’s contact information online? Most media organizations have an easy-to-use contact form right on their site.
- Use your network. While you’ve probably already done a great job sharing your campaign link and story via social media and email, have you asked around to see if anyone in your network has local media contacts? You may be surprised at how well connected your supporters are.
How to Stand Out
Remember, it’s all about how you frame it. Don’t ask the media outlet for help. Instead, focus on why your story will resonate or warm the hearts of their audiences. Your local media spends their days searching for stories like yours. Get creative and make your story one worth covering!