If your daughter plays on the junior high soccer team, but your local weekly newspaper acts like the team doesn’t exist, quit grumbling and find a notebook and a pen.
If your son participates in ice skating competitions, but the team has never had its photo in the paper, get a camera and learn how to use it.
Even if you participate in an obscure sport like fencing, you can still be a Publicity Hound who gets great results.
Local news is a weekly newspaper’s bread and butter. But the news staff is often so lean, that it might welcome stories and photos from people like you.
Sports publicist Gail Sideman has been fortunate enough over the years to place many stories in weeklies, some of which she even wrote about her client.
“Some of the things weeklies have run verbatim–sometimes solicited, other times my releases run as stories–have been tennis tournament advances, match stories and tournament wrap-ups,” said Gail, who owns the Publicity Power Group in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “In every case, the publicist has to think like an editor and a reader.”
To do that, she asks herself, what else would someone want to read about this? When time allows, she even provides a sidebar of either a feature element or brief personality profile of one of the athletes.
“Whenever I do an event, I go sniffing for an interesting story to go along with it,” she says. “It might be an athlete’s unusual diet, that the athlete has overcome great obstacles, or that he or she is just winning a lot.”
She encourages you to look for ways to get reporters involved. During a Milwaukee-area tennis tournament, she invited a sports reporter from the local TV station to attend and get a lesson from a former touring professional.
Gail has more tips on how to pitch sports stories to the weeklies, and she shares them all in an article in the September/October issue of The Publicity Hound subscription newsletter. Order it here..