I had a friend of mine one time ask me about this.
He had put a good amount of time into planning an event for his department and thought
he had a newsworthy story involving kids and their unique work. No, it wasn’t breaking news about the next Supreme Court nomination, but it was a nice feel good story that could make the community page in the newspaper or the kicker at the end of the evening newscast. He was left scratching his head when no media showed up and only a few people from the school district appeared. If this has happened to you, or you’re afraid it might, consider these four reasons.
“…a huge event…can take all the media oxygen away
from smaller stories.”
- Another big event going on. As much as we maybe can’t imagine it, there are other important events that happen on any given day besides the one we are sweating blood and tears over. In my friend’s case, it was happening during an incredibly big event in San Antonio called “Fiesta.” The news media covers a lot of events, but their resources are limited and a huge event like that (two weeks) can take all the media oxygen away from other smaller stories.
- Media Staffing Limited. Staff scheduling can dictate what events get covered. Unplanned news, called spot news, like a 4-alarm fire, can also undercut your coverage. In fact, using that same premise, that’s actually a way some big companies will break bad news about themselves. News releases being sent out at the same time that say a national disaster is unfolding can be a ploy of damage control. Financial guru Dave Ramsey has an example of this with a well-known bank. CLICK HERE
- No Relationship With The Media. This is more important than most people realize. If they don’t know who you are…or worse yet, they DO know you and it’s not a positive impression. In either case, they don’t necessarily see your release as a top priority and it may get pushed down to the bottom of the stack.
- Your event was not compelling enough. If there is not a good, compelling reason high in the news release that explains its relevancy, it likely will get ignored and they’ll move on to something else.
So what can you do to dial up your chances for coverage? That’s coming up next.
Steve Linscomb worked in the news media for 28 years. Since 2012, he has served as an official spokesperson for a public school district in the San Antonio metro area and is a freelance writer.