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Make the most of the media

Article

We'd like to announce a community award my practice won, but I'm not sure how to present it to the media. What's the best way to hand off a story idea to the press?

We'd like to announce a community award my practice won, but I'm not sure how to present it to the media. What's the best way to hand off a story idea to the press?

Linda Wasche

Avoid relying on brochures, flyers, or Web sites, says Linda Wasche, president of LW Marketworks in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Instead, use standard publicity formats to get media attention. For example:

  • News advisory. Send out this announcement in advance of a news release to invite reporters to cover an event, such as an awards ceremony. Limit the information to who, what, where, when, and why, and keep it to one page. E-mail the advisory to media contacts.

  • News release. This is the standard format for publicizing events to which the public is invited, announcements, achievements, and so on. Limit your communication to two pages and e-mail it to media contacts.

  • Media kit. A media kit provides greater detail for complex stories. It's usually a collection of news releases, fact sheets, bios, and backgrounders. E-mail this to reporters or distribute it in person.

Whatever format you use, tell your story succinctly, Wasche says. Put the most important information in the first few paragraphs, followed by facts supporting your main idea. Include contact information so an editor or reporter can follow up with the right person. When you're putting your package together, stick to one main idea, write simply, plan ahead for media deadlines, and avoid using professional jargon. Keep these tips in mind, Wasche says, and you'll see your story in print.

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