Getting Media Attention

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a particular disability issue you care about? Let people know! One of the best ways to spread the word is to reach out to local and province-wide papers. 

There are a few short and sweet steps you can take to focus your pitch and ensure it is compelling to its reader

Tips For Getting Noticed By The Media

Know Where To Look

Usually the media will not come to you; you will have to know where to find the media. A good place to start is by contacting the editor of a publication; messages from readers are often published in 'letter to the editor' sections, and the editor has the most influence on what is featured. Many media outlets also list the email addresses of specific writers, so it is advisable to check the contact page of each publication you are interested in contacting.

Describe The Impact Something Has On Your Life

When reaching out to the press you can also emphasize this angle, for example a personal account of how a lack of accessibility in public buildings has impacted your life. It gives writers intimate detail, a personal story, and a concrete, human example they can use to argue for their position and highlight the impact of certain policies or products.

You are essentially giving them a case study to use, which is highly valuable information that is often used in publications. Try sending your story to several journalists or editors to maximize reach.   

Reference A Related Story Or Their Past Work

This type of pitch references a journalist’s focus area or previous work. Personalizing it to their topics of interest will draw them in and assure them this is not an impersonal mass email. It can also be hard to resist engaging someone who is commenting on your work! Try to find their email or social media handle to contact them directly, but if not you can also send a message to the publication's editor.

The subject line could be as simple as the title of their recent article. You should then tie your own opinions and knowledge to the author's original work, providing elaboration or another perspective on an issue they have been writing about, and content for future stories. 

Provide Inside Information

Providing journalists with information no one else has access to or that is not widely publicized is a great way to get press. Most reporters are constantly looking for scoops, so if you can offer them information that is relevant to their niche, you are giving them a reason to publish it. Is an organization you are involved with doing some great new things? Let them know!

Answer Their Questions

It is always worth following up with a journalist when they have asked a question about a relevant topic on social media or in one of their articles.

  • In the first sentence, tell them where you found their question and what it is about. This immediately tells them why you are writing.

  • In the next section, describe your story or angle

  • Be concise; you don’t want to overload them with unnecessary details. And make sure you are highlighting the most riveting facts. If you are offering yourself as a source, explain why you are qualified.

 

Follow Up And Be Persistent 

It is common not to get a response on your first try. Journalists are extremely busy; plus, they receive an extraordinary volume of emails. Sending a helpful, tailored email, and then a gentle nudge a few days later can bump you to the top of your recipient’s inbox.

  

How To Write A Good Follow-up Email To A Journalist 

  • Reply to your first email, rather than starting a brand-new thread. That way, they can scroll down to see your previous message.

  • Make the second email shorter than the first. You want it to be quick to skim — the longer it is, the less likely they are to make it to the end and thus respond.

  • Don’t be aggressive. They are under no obligation to work with you and aggression will likely turn them away.

Download Media Contacts (PDF)

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