If your organisation or business is having an event and you are looking to get a story in the local paper, it can be a challenge if you don't know where to start. Having a story in the local media is better than advertising and its free. Once you establish a relationship with the media, you will find it's easier and easier to get coverage. Read on to learn how to get a story in a local newspaper.
Evaluate your event or announcement. Why is it important to local readers? What will interest them the most? This is the angle from which to approach the editors of the newspapers. Make sure you can articulate why their readers would be interested and why your news is important.
Create a press list. If you don't already have a press list, make one now. List all of the local papers and the editors or reporters that would likely write about your news. You should have their e-mail and phone numbers.
Write a press release. Sometimes its enough to just e-mail the editor of the local paper to tell them about your news, but you'll get a better response if you send out a press release or professionally written media announcement. Some newspapers will just run the press release as is or at least place it online.
Include a picture. Newspaper is a visual medium and editors love pictures. If you can include one or two photos that relate to your story, you will often get those published as well.
Personally contact everyone. It's not enough to put your news out on a newswire. You need to e-mail your release along with the photos to everyone on your press list. If your news is breaking, you should call the editors directly and let them know before the press release is distributed.
Press releases are for news, not marketing. Avoid lots of jargon and overly promotional writing.