Contacting the News Media

By Tina L. Pugliese, APR, Pugliese Public Relations

tina puglieseAll contacts with the news media create an impression of you and your organization that carries into the public perception. Creating and updating a media contact database is the first step towards developing good relationships with editors and writers.

When you are contacting editors, remember that they are busy professionals, so being polite and to the point are vitally important. Customizing your pitch for different editors and types of media will also give your information a better chance of being published. Effective media contacts will make your public relations campaign a success for your organization and the publications that you are featured in. 

Contacting the Media. First you have to define who are the media you your area. Generally the media are either print or electronic. The best way to go about this is to pick up copies of all the publications available to you in your area. Call them and ask them who the assignment editors are, or who the reporters are that cover stories related to your business.

The next thing to do is to conduct an internet search to find and contact the television and radio stations. Again, find out if there are any television or radio programs that are targeted specifically towards your business interests. Don’t forget the cable stations.

Can you get on a show as a new entrepreneur working within the community to bring your expertise to local business? This is an angle you can work with many radio or television stations.

Another consideration to think about is how you will contact the reporters or editors who will be covering your story. Some media outlets prefer not to be contacted through fax. Make sure you know how local media like to get releases.

Ask the questions:  “Are faxes okay?”  “Would you like email? Can you deal with attachments?”  These questions are vital in determining whether your release gets read, or gets tossed.

Realistic Expectations. Understand that not every release you send out will automatically lead to a story. For every story that makes it into a publication, there are dozens that don’t. It is important not to get discouraged if after two or three releases you are not generating interest within your local media.

At this point step back, and take another look at your media. Would the stories you are pitching fit with the other stories in the paper? Maybe you will have to further refine your definition of news to fit with the editorial interests of the newspaper.

You might begin targeting specific parts or sections within the paper or magazines. Is there a “business briefs,” section that has small mentions of the goings on at local businesses? If after a while you are still not getting any action, you may want to talk to a PR professional for an analysis.


Tina L. Pugliese, APR is an executive coach and counselor for Pugliese Public Relations, a communications firm in Boynton Beach, Florida. Pugliese is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, and is the author of the book, Public Relations for Pharmacists, and e-books, Marketing Your Business for Success, How To Work With The Media, and Public Relations Manual — A Guide for Entrepreneurs.  She can be reached at (561) 889-3575 and by email at  Her web site is

Article excerpted from e-book, Public Relations Manual — A Guide for Entrepreneurs, by Tina L. Pugliese, APR.

house ad for nancy proffitt column only in palm beach
tina's column info click to go to tina's previous column
palm beach
JULY 27, 2009 click to go home
click to go back to the top
Delray's Online Business and Community Newspaper