Jennifer Gilbert Gebhardt 2013-02-12 09:27:08
Share the Good News Generate Interest with a Media Pitch Letter Lions, a humble bunch, are all about service. You may not feel you have the time or the need to draw attention to your club’s many good deeds. But a little publicity never hurts— in fact, media coverage can do everything from boosting donations to increasing attendance at events to creating interest in joining. Although engaging in media relations may seem daunting and complicated, it actually may be easier than you think. With the targeted use of a simple media pitch letter, you can catch the media’s attention and bring inspiring stories to your community. No Press Release, No Problem “One of the most common misconceptions about public relations is that you need to distribute press releases to get media coverage. Few people know you can get media exposure without writing a press release,” stresses Elena Verlee, founder of the public relations firm Cross Border Communications. “A media pitch is much easier to prepare than a press release. Done right, it can get you that media interview or feature.” A media pitch is a three-paragraph letter to an editor or journalist with the intention to spark interest, rather than simply conveying information in a conventional “who, what, when, where, why” press release style. “You can be more creative and less formal in a media pitch than in a press release,” says Verlee. Simple as 1-2-3 An eye-catching headline is a must. “Go for a quirky headline. One that makes the reader go, ‘Huh? What could this be?’ Strive to write a headline that arouses curiosity,” says Verlee. In the first paragraph, get to the point quickly and summarize why readers would be interested in your story. The second paragraph can cover basic details, but including an engaging quote, colorful language and statistics are great additions. The final paragraph should be a call to action, such as providing your contact information to follow up. Not Sure It’s Newsworthy? While a press release is perfect for announcing an event, a pitch letter is great for drawing interest for feature stories. “If you don’t necessarily have a newsworthy story about your own club, but want to react to a hot news item, use a media pitch to get your name in front of journalists. Never assume that your story isn’t interesting enough for an editorial,” says Verlee. Lions have the opportunity, and perhaps the duty, to share their motivational stories of service. Verlee points out, “We are inundated with ‘news’ more and more—a lot of bad news. Journalists and their readers love to hear about good news and what is happening in their communities. Reading about the good works Lions are doing will help create good will, and therefore, deepen communities’ support of local Lions clubs.” Find more tips on reaching out to the media in the LCI Public Relations Guide, available at www.lionsclubs.org. Contact the LCI PR Division with questions at 630-571- 5466 or email@example.com.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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