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Public Relations News
Getting newspapers to work for you

By Carl Bernhardt, State Publicity Director

  MAY 2008 -- One of the most important things that a Publicity Committee has to remember is that in addition to getting the news out, newspapers are in business to make money.  They will only print those articles that will increase their circulation.  They especially like to receive human interest articles — short stories about people helping other people.
Has your Grange ever held a public gathering?  You were delegated to get the information into the newspapers, but it never appeared and very few attended the gathering.  We have found that by placing a paid advertisement into the newspaper it becomes much easier for you to place your “free publicity” into the same paper.
Another important factor is getting your article to the newspaper early enough.  The copy should be typed and double spaced.  It should have your name and telephone number at the top of the page along with the statement:  For additional information contact:.
Many of the newspapers prefer that your articles be e-mailed to them.  They prefer  the articles be typed using Microsoft Word.  This will save them time because they will not have to retype your article.  You should also follow up on the article.  Two or three days after you have sent the article you should contact the person to whom it was sent.  You should ask if any additional information would be needed to help them.
When reporting about an event that has taken place, the article should be timely.  An article written about an event that took place two or three days before would be considered ancient history by a daily newspaper, but this would be fine for a weekly paper.


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