Getting media coverage is one of the best ways to reach people with your message and put pressure on local politicians.
A local paper is read by thousands. Regional radio reaches thousands of homes and a national TV news programme can be watched by millions.
The trick is to provide timely and engaging stories in a way that they can be easily picked up by local media sources. When you have a story a stunt or an event that you want to share, send copy of your press release to the news desk and to named contacts.
Note: we'll be adding a template press release to this page soon which you can adapt and use. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like advice on working with the media in the meantime.
Follow it up with a phone call to check they’ve received it and ask if they would like any other information. This is a good way to build a relationship with your local journalists.
As a rough guide, the best time to contact a daily paper is in the morning or early afternoon – journalists will be busy writing up stories in the late afternoon. For weekly papers that go out on a Friday it’s best to call early in the week.
Whatever your news story is, draw out any elements that are:
- Building on an existing story
- Relevant for the audience (e.g. about your local area for local media outlets)
- Controversial, unusual, unique or humorous
- Involving a local celebrity could also help you to get coverage.
The more imaginative or eye-catching your story, the more likely you are to get coverage.