Six tips for DIY PR success when targeting metro print media

Some weeks ago we talked about targeting local media to gain confidence as a DIY PR business owner.  Now you have identified your news and have a press release, it’s time to go one step further to gain wider media coverage by targeting the metropolitan media.   That means usually newspapers that are owned by Fairfax or News Ltd and suburban newspapers that may belong to them as well.

As they are both going through major change, it’s important to have up to date media contact lists and be familiar with the process of approaching them so you don’t waste your time or theirs.

Here are our six tips to ensure success when targeting metro or suburban print media:

  1. Ask yourself which newspapers will be interested in my news, is it major dailies and suburban or one or the other?  If it’s suburban they are usually produced weekly, and metro’s are daily and include weekend supplements.
  2. Work out where your story will ‘best fit’. Become familiar with who writes what section or column or feature. If it’s a fundraiser or event you’re promoting it’s probably right for the community news section in a suburban newspaper, or what’s on events section in the weekend metro. Whereas metro newspapers have dedicated editors such as business, features, arts, travel, food as well as news or pictorial editors.  Get to know who they are.
  3. Once you’ve sent your press release to the journalist before you follow up, practice your verbal pitch. Be clear, concise and straight to the point during any communication.  Journalists run to extremely tight deadlines and need to understand what you want in just a few seconds.
  4. Listen to their phone message. If the message says they’ll call you back, don’t necessarily expect them to, but be prepared to ‘follow up’. Likewise, if they state that email is their preferred contact method, send an email.
  5. Send local and newsworthy news to suburban publications such as Leader and Cumberland. They often have one-two writers who cover everything and are more likely to be ‘locally’ driven so the story must be in their area or relate directly to their readers.
  6. Be creative! If you have a product, find out first who is the best person to send it to, and then follow up to ensure they received it.

Remember: only send relevant media releases. If you make a habit of sending anything and everything the journalist will automatically delete your emails and one day may delete something that is relevant.

Don’t ask or expect a journalist to run your story because you are advertising in their publication. They usually only run a story based on merit. Major metropolitan and national newspapers have huge and separate editorial and advertising departments.

And finally, if you don’t have the time to write a press release or the resources, simply put in your email the who, what, when, where, how and why of your news and send it to the journalist.

Alternatively, PR Guru has a press release writing and a review your press release service that turns your release around within 4 days or sooner.

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