Getting Media to Cover Your Event

Published Jan 1, 2007 Updated Aug 18, 2023

A line of reporters holding video cameras.
Matt C/Unsplash
Contributing to the news is one important way you can affect public policy and corporate decision-making. If consumers and the public are concerned about an issue, then decision makers will be as well. Getting media to come to your events isn't as hard as you might think it is. All you need is a short media advisory, and the time to make a few phone calls.

How to get the media to your event

  1. Write your media advisory. A media advisory is a one-page notice about your event. It should contain 5 main components: What: one sentence saying what your event is; Where and When: the date, time, and location of your event; Why: one to two short paragraphs about why you are holding this event; and, finally, Who: the names and titles, if applicable, of people speaking at your event. Be sure to also include your own name and contact information so the reporter can call or email you to ask for more details.
  2. Send your advisory to your local media. You can usually find email addresses for your local radio stations and newspapers on their websites. Look for the number for the main newsroom. If your event will look dramatic, don't forget to call your local television stations as well. Be sure to send reporters your advisory one week ahead of time so reporters can slot your event into their busy schedules. It also is a good idea to send them the advisory again the morning of the event, as newsroom staff usually meet each morning to plan that day’s coverage.

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Additional tips and resources

Make follow-up phone calls. The day after you send your advisory, you should follow up with the reporters you sent your advisory to. Review the advisory and have it in front of you when making your calls. Here's a sample call:

Hi, I am [your name], a resident of [name your town] and I'd like to let you know about a potential news event that I thought might interest you. Do you have a brief second to talk? [If the reporter is on a deadline, they may not be able to speak to you just then. Ask them when a better time would be for you to call back. Then be sure to call them back at that time!]

On [date and time], I will be / a group of concerned citizens will be [enter the details of your event here. Include what you're doing, why, and what you hope the outcome will be. For example:] delivering hundreds of letters to John Doe, the local auto dealer who is one of 10 dealership plaintiffs remaining in the controversial lawsuit against California's landmark law to reduce global warming emissions from vehicles. We are urging that he drop the lawsuit because as customers we want to be able to buy clean cars.

You are welcome to join us. I have sent you a media advisory but would be happy to send it to you again. Are you interested in covering this event? [If no, is there someone else at your station/paper who might be more interested?]

That's it! Now you're well on your way to ensuring your event is covered in your local media.