Be smart in working with the news media

If you want the news media to run your news, be strategic in submitting and pitching your news releases.

First, make sure your news release focuses on your news and why it matters, not on your organization and what your leaders say about your news.

Second, make sure you send your news release to the right person at each new outlet. Go to the group’s website; look for the staff listing; find the city, local or metro editor at a newspaper, or the assignment editor at a television or radio station; write down that person’s email address and phone number; and send the news release to that person.

If the staff listing on the website does not include the names and titles of the people you are looking for, find the main number, or the number for news, then call and ask for the name, email address and phone number of the person with the appropriate job title. Then send the news release to that person.

Once you have sent the news release, follow up with a phone call to make sure the appropriate person received the news release. And be prepared to make a pitch — in just a few short sentences — about why your news matters.

If the news organization runs your news, you should follow up with a thank-you note.

And create a spread sheet with the names of the news outlets, contacts and their contact information to use the next time you want to send out a news release.

The news media can be a great way to get your news to the audiences you want to reach.

So be smart and strategic in the way you work with news organizations.

Want professional help?

Philanthropy North Carolina is a consulting practice that provides writing and strategic communications support for nonprofits, foundations, colleges and universities, and others working for social good.

To find out more about hiring Philanthropy North Carolina to work with your organization to improve your communications, contact Todd Cohen at 919.272.2051 or

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