It's crucial to do a good job of being interesting, and presenting your story in a professional way that conveys to the reporter your organization is worth covering. Here are a few tips on how to accomplish that:
1. Choose your outlet and reporter. If you aren't sure to whom you should send your releases, go to news.google.com and search using the name of your community and keywords related to your organization or pet adoption. Contact those reporters, using the information on the outlet's website. If his or her email address isn't there, call and ask for it. Reporters and editors want stories!
2. Don't give up.Too many groups send out one release and then, when the reporter doesn't write about their story, they figure it was all a waste. If you've chosen the right media outlet and reporter for your pitch, just keep sending them good releases. It can often take 10 or more before a reporter calls, but if you stop, they never will.
3. Tell a story. Open your release with a paragraph sharing the story of a specific pet who your organization has helped, or is currently in need of help. This personalizes your work and hooks both the reporter and his or her readers.
4. Think multimedia. Don't just send a press release -- include a link to assets like photos and video. Doing so will up the chances you'll get coverage, especially on the web and from bloggers and social media.
5. Don't send attachments. Paste your press release right into the email, and include a link to more information on your website.
6. Check your email and voice messages. One huge mistake is sending out a press release and not including contact information, or not having someone available as soon as the release hits a reporter's inbox.
7. Tweet Tweet! Reporters often respond really well to being contacted on Twitter. If you're not sure what their Twitter handles are, check the media outlet website, or search for their names on Twitter.
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