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Media Coverage

notes taken from a seminar presented by Bill Winter

at Success '97 (notes taken by Stacy Van Oast)
The best way to get media coverage is to be successful.


5 rules of media success:
  1. Maintain an accurate, up-to-date list of targeted people. The targeted person's name must be on the press release.
    • have someone call and get names, titles, phone and fax numbers
    • keep list up to date: there's typically a 25% turnover rate per year in media personnel
    • keep a separate sub-list of people who have been good to us and send them everything
  2. Mix up the type of press releases you send out
    • News Release - tells real news
    • Issues Release - tells our perspective on issues; 2 criteria for getting attention:
      1. Do you have clout and influence in the political system? or are you invisible?
      2. How interesting are you?
    • Useful Information Release - provides a service to a media person by giving them factual, interesting info (helps make radio host sound like an expert)
    • Strategy Release - the press sees politics as a sporting event so they like to know the strategy ("candidate goes for gun x voters")
  3. Use objective facts and figures to prove your credibility (use hard numbers to brag about more members, more candidates, etc.)
  4. Make press releases professional and interesting - we're competing with thousands of other releases
    • have a punchy, lively headline
    • keep it short - never more than one page
    • write it in standard news style, with the lead paragraph summarizing the story
    • put opinions in quotes
    • write lively; be colorful and entertaining
    • have a name and phone # for media people to contact for more info (make sure spokesperson is effective and easy to reach)
  5. Put out more press releases
    • keeps your name in front of media
    • cumulative effect - eventually they may notice that you're up to something
    • the more releases you issue, the better your chances of getting lucky and having something covered
Remember: Press Releases are not a substitute for action and success!

Recommended reading: Ain't Nobody's Business What You Do" by Flynn.


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