Media Center

Public relations is a fantastic way to garner exposure to your business. As a premium member of Independent We Stand, this guide will give you tips on who to contact, what to contact them about and when to contact.

Media CenterWHO:

Finding reporters to cover your story can be easy if you know whom to contact. When you read the newspaper, etc., look for stories relevant to the story you’re looking to pitch. Take note of the writer and find their contact information either in the publication or on the source’s website.

Local reporters are the most likely to cover your story so keep track of your local news stations, radio stations, newspapers and community magazines. Another great resource is the internet. On the web, you’ll find hyperlocal news websites as well as blogs.

WHAT:

Chances are, your business has a story to share. Here are a few ideas:

  • Encourage your community to buy local for a certain holiday.
    Independent We Stand often has economic impact calendars (link to holiday calculator page) on their website for certain holidays so you can use those figures to show how much money is reinvested locally!
  • Your community involvement.
    Maybe you hosted a cookout to raise money for a local charity – write about it! Local businesses give back to communities more often than national chains. Let your community know that by supporting you they are supporting their local tax base as well as the organizations you support.
  • Your involvement in IWS
    Just joined IWS? Tell your community about it! Relay why you’re involved in the movement and why other people should join. Please use the Independent We Stand logo (link to logo) and boiler plate (link to boiler plate) to help promote your business’ involvement in the “Buy Local” movement!
  • New location, renovation, employees, etc.
    At the end of this guide you will find a template email you can use. You can also download an example of a press release that we have written here. The press release should be sent within the body of the email. Do not send as an attachment.

WHEN:

Download Press Release SampleHere are the average lead times for different publications:
Newspaper: 3-4 weeks | Magazine: 3-4 months | Radio: 2-3 weeks | TV: 3-4 weeks

If you’re pitching breaking news, feel free to pitch ASAP to everyone but magazine writers.

While there is no magic formula for when to send a pitch, try to avoid Fridays, particularly in the afternoon as writers are looking to wrap up for the weekend. Mornings and late at night are best. These reporters get tons of emails, so you want your email to be at the top of the stack when they arrive at work in the morning otherwise it will get lost in a sea of emails that sometimes go unread.

If you’re sending a press release to a lot of reporters, send in groups of less than 20 and make sure to BCC everyone so that the reporters don’t know who else is receiving the press release.

If you’re only sending to a few reporters, send an individual pitch with press release. Example:

Hi NAME:
EXPLAIN WHY YOU THINK THEY WILL BE INTERESTED IN YOUR STORY.

Please see the below press release for more information. Looking forward to your thoughts!

YOUR NAME/SIGNATURE

Following up – feel free to follow up with writers about two weeks after you send your press release. In this email, you can provide more information or an update and should end with something along the lines of “Looking forward to your thoughts on including BUSINESS/STORY SUBJECT in PUBLICATION. Here are some previous stories that have run about Independent We Stand.

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