Getting In The News: A Guide for IDPA Members

by Editor 2. June 2014 23:00
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The sport of Defensive Shooting is a great sport to spotlight talented shooters of all ages. This guide is designed to help you make sure your match gets noticed by your local newspaper, radio or television station. By following the sample press releases provided and compiling a list of local media contacts you will be able to issue press releases and, with some luck, find yourself on the front page of the local newspaper.

Know the Media and The Media Will Know You

The key to getting your match in the local newspaper or on local radio or television is to make sure that these media outlets know your match exists. Just like other local sports the local media will write about you. Remember, your shooters will be competing for the IDPA State Championship and maybe even a IDPA National Championship - and that’s news worth writing and reading about.

To make sure the local media knows about you and your match, you need to know about the local media and how to contact them. It’s easier than you think. The key is to develop an up-to-date list of media contacts in your area. Include name, address, phone, fax and email for each contact along with the newspaper, radio or television station they represent. When you contact local media outlets to get their contact information, ask them how they prefer to receive press releases. Many will prefer it by email, but some will still want you to fax the release. It is important to note that when it comes to email, many media outlets will not accept an email with files attached. So if you are going to email your release, put it in the body of your email rather than attaching the document.

Once you have your list of local media, you are ready to move to the next step - writing your press release.

Write Your Press Release - Or Use Ours!

Writing your press release is simple, and you will increase your chances of press coverage if you follow a couple fundamental style rules. Just like any other business or industry, the media has a standard, user-friendly format for how press releases should be written and formatted. If you follow the format, you are going to have greater success in getting your match covered in the press.

To help you with the format of a press release, we have included a couple sample releases to copy. All you need to do is fill in the key information that a reporter will be looking for - Who, What, Why, Where and When. Supply a reporter with this information and he or she can write the rest of the story.

Getting Your Match In The News

There are several topics you can prepare a release on that will be of interest to the local media. The following are some ideas you can use in writing your release.

Topic #1: [Club Name] to Host State Shooting Championship.

Topic #2: [Business Name] Sponsors Local Shooting Match

Topic #3: [Shooter Name] Ready to Compete for State Shooting Title

Topic #4: [Shooter Name] Captures State Title and Heads to Nationals

These are only a few topics you can write a release about. There are many more and if your local paper wants to write about your matches, keep giving them information.

Formatting Your Release

When it comes to formatting your release, here are a couple key points to remember.

Contact: The Contact is the person you want the reporter to call if there are any questions or requests for additional information. If they don’t know whom to contact, how will they be able to set up a photo shoot to put your match on the front page?

Phone: The reporter with questions has to know the number at which to reach you.

Date: Date your release so the reporter knows when it was sent. Date your release for the day you send it out.

- more - If your release is longer than a single page, make sure you put this at the bottom of the page. If only the first page goes through on a fax machine, this will let the reporter know he or she is missing the rest of the release and to call you.

- 30 - This goes at the end of your release and should be centered on the page. This lets the reporter know that your release is done and is like ‘The End’ after a movie. Make sure you include this or the reporter will think he or she is missing pages from your release.

Don’t Get Discouraged and Don’t Give Up

Finally, if after sending out your release you don’t get covered in the local paper, on the local radio or TV station, don’t get discouraged. This happens to everybody from small businesses to big corporations. Sometimes, current events keep reporters bogged down on a particular story. Don’t get discouraged by this and don’t give up. Send out another release about your match, or try calling to follow-up and make sure the reporter, editor, or news director received the release. Your call may be just the thing to get them thinking about a story on your match. Be ready to explain IDPA and the sport of Defensive Shooting to them in easy-to-understand terms.

MAYOR’S PROCLAMATION

Obtaining a proclamation recognizing your match from your town's mayor is an effective way to gain favorable publicity for the sport and your match with no expense and just some basic "PR" effort on your part. Requests to sign proclamations are seldom turned down, because they also provide elected officials with excellent public relations opportunities. We have provided you with a sample proclamation, all you have to do is fill in your match’s information and contact your mayor or municipal leader.

We Want To Read About Your Match

We want to read about your match. So when a story appears in your local paper, tear it out and send a copy to us here at IDPA. Please include the name of the paper and the issue date if not noted on the tear sheet. Send your clips to the following address:

IDPA
2232 CR 719
Berryville, AR 72616

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