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Establishing a relationship with the media

Your efforts will be better rewarded if you build up a relationship with local journalists. They often look for good local news stories - but take care not to overwhelm them.

Before you speak to the journalist you are targeting, read the publication or listen to/watch their programme.

  • Be courteous when you call them, and check that you are calling at a convenient time.
  • Once they are listening, ask:
    — about their deadlines - when do they go to press? When would they like to be contacted?
    — how would they like to receive information - by fax, email or telephone?
    — what kind of stories are they interested in?
  • Make sure you get the number of their direct telephone line if they have one, their fax number, email address and any other relevant details.
  • Next time you call, remind them of your previous conversations.
  • Invite them to any event your organisation might be running - once you meet face-to-face they are more likely to remember you.
  • Never give up!

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