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How to attract media interest for an event?

Anna McMahon from Bethlehem, New York October 15, 2014

In Bethlehem NY we have a long-running event, a Black Friday Fair Trade Market, featuring 20 vendors selling beautiful handmade crafts. Last year we struggled to find a new angle to attract local media interest. Can anyone suggest ways to draw renewed interest and create a “story” around this event?

Community Answers

  1. Most newspapers, even large one, no longer have enough photographers. In
    Media, PA, we submit fun photos with catchy subtitles *after* our events to
    the newspapers. The photos with captions are normally published. If we want
    the media to advertise our events, we send them photos before hand — and
    again with catchy subtitles. We rarely try to television coverage believing
    the newspaper coverage has more sticking power.

    Elizabeth Killough
    Foundation Manager
    Untours Foundation
    415 East Jasper Street
    Media *“America’s First Fair Trade Town
    ”*, PA 19063
    Main office: 610-565-5242
    Direct line: 610-295-5569

    Follow our work on our Blog!

    *”The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” Joseph Campbell*

    elizabeth.killough from Media, Pennsylvania - 3 years ago
  2. You don’t have to create a story but look for it. Digg it out. Find it.
    Who are those vendors? What do the crafts mean to one or some of them? Anyone from overseas, or with an incredible past or working toward a unique future? Any dreams to share? Pitch to a reporter a human story. One or two sentences. Tell the reporter that person can be interview at your event. Make it super short. If the reporter is good, and your story worth it, he or she will come out to find the rest and will write a story. I was a newspaper writer in my old life! Good luck!

  3. Here is an example of your pitching to a reporter:

    Hi my name is Luci and I know this incredible crafter who has lived in Peru and walked to the US thru Mexico and now knits for a living. Her creations are so beautiful, they all represent a step of her journey. She will be offering her things at our Black Friday Fair Trade Market. Let me know if you are interested in writing about her, I can tell you more and connect you.
    Thanks,
    Luci

  4. Thank you for these very helpful suggestions.

    Anna McMahon from Bethlehem, New York - 3 years ago
  5. Emily Z., Fair Trade Communities Fellow, here. Press releases! If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a resource here: http://fairtradecampaigns.org/resource/community-event-press-release-2/. Research the outlets you’d like to receive coverage from and find out who the editor and lifestyles or local reporters are and email it to them. Echoing what’s been said before, make it catchy! You might want to also ask when emailing them what their publishing schedule is so you can get the info to them in time for it to be in the publication before the event. If you didn’t get coverage before the event, send it again after with interesting pictures. The more they see from you, the more you’ll be on their radar and hopefully the more likely it will be to get published. (I also happen to have been a newspaper reporter in a past life!)

    Ashley - 3 years ago
  6. To get media coverage–you have to do something news-worthy–besides have meeting and good intentions. I started with an email list to all the TV reporters, the newsdesk and the morning shows. When you fax in a news release–fax it in a couple of days before and then fax it again the morning of the event-before 9:00AM (Find out what time news stories are assigned at your local TV stations) When you fax into a newspaper-you can find a list of different department and editor on their contact –do some homework -find out how different department might effect Fair Trade-call them and introduce yourself. Again, send your piece 48 hours before story. Have answers ready about contacts, merchandize, pricing and social movement in general. Dazzle them with you knowledge! This is how these guys are making their living-respects them. If we do an event where we give away Fair Trade Mini Chocolates–we give a gifit of FT Chocolate afterwards with pictures.

    Linda Roy from 2nd Congregational/ 1st Presbyterian Church - 2 years ago

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