Once you’ve sent a press release to your local TV newsrooms, how can you help make sure your news makes the news? Below are some best practices to ensure your release isn’t buried and you receive the coverage you’re looking for!
- Call the station directly once you have sent your press release email to the right contacts at ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and any other TV stations in your local market. This will help confirm it is received and that it gets added into their planners if you’re looking for event coverage.
For announcement-centered press releases, you can still call the newsroom to ensure the release has been seen and ask if they’d be willing to do a story on the announcement or put it on the station website. As a reminder, be sure to send your release to the general newsroom emails, which can be found on the station website. (Learn more about creating a media contact list here.)
- Tailor this suggested script when calling the newsroom to follow up on your initial press release email when you’re looking for event coverage:
SCORE volunteer: Hi! Is this the newsroom or news desk?
News station: It isn’t. Where would you like to be transferred?
*If they say no, ask to be sent to the newsroom or news desk phone*
If they say yes, here’s how to proceed:
News station: It is! How can I help you?
SCORE volunteer: Hi! My name is [insert name] from SCORE [insert chapter]. I’m calling because I wanted to be sure that you got our press release about our [insert event and date the event is happening] and hope you will add it to your planner? (Pause to allow for response, or be prepared to pitch the event quickly and why it should be in their planner).
Do you have the release or should I send it again? You have it? GREAT! Thank you. I will call back on the day of the event to see if you’ll be able to send a camera.
*Stay on the phone until the confirmed they’ve received your release* This is super important!
- Follow up. Again, if your press release centers around an event your local chapter is having, call the newsroom back on the day of the event. Make your initial call around 10 a.m. local time after morning crews have been assigned a story to see if the station will be able to send a camera. Whether they tell you yes, no or they’re unsure after your initial call, make a second call about an hour before your event begins to be sure things haven’t changed.
As always, our public relations team (firstname.lastname@example.org) is here to provide additional guidance as needed. Thank you for sharing your chapter’s success and accomplishments!