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Home / How to... / How to get your story covered by local media

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This how-to guide was created by Jude Habib This guide has also been edited by KHNP member

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How to get your story covered by local media

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Local and regional campaigning can have a fantastic impact. A strong local strategy will provide strong foundations to any national campaign. Here's how to ensure your story is covered.

1

Provide compelling stories with real people

Always offer a local angle or local case studies. This might take longer to sort out but it will give your campaign a greater impact. When what you are offering is competing with lots of other stories, this will help yours stand out.

2

It's all about the story

There is a sense that charity stories have become all surveys and no news. Local journalists dislike national surveys with simple regional facts so you need to be more imaginative.

3

Build relationships with journalists and producers

Send them an email with your idea and follow up with a phonecall. Get the ‘patch’ (target area) right when pitching ideas to producers. Know the programme or section you are pitching to and know the audience.

4

Remember deadlines, especially for local press

It’s is no good letting journalists know about a story the day before it happens or when the latest edition has gone to press. Advance warning is really important.

5

Think carefully about how you use celebrity interviewees

If you are offering interviews with celebrities to support a social campaign they need to be in a studio or on an ISDN line. They also need to be empathetic, understand the organisation’s story and preferably have a personal link to the campaign themselves. Local journalists can spot a fraud a mile away.

6

Changing media environment

More and more stations will consider using the audio and visual content you are creating. They may want to use it on air or online but they really like to know about it in advance. This is for editorial reasons as well as enabling them to provide useful input. For local radio, if you are producing an audio diary or content from a particular area, do contact the local station in advance as they might be interested in working with you on producing this content.

7

Be creative about the stories you offer

Dave Harvey, Assistant Editor at BBC Radio Leicester says, “I want my listener to be surprised and think ‘I didn’t know that'."

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