Sponsoring an event? One of the best ways to generate publicity is to invite a reporter to participate in something that will result in a pre-event story.
For example, if you’re sponsoring a hot-air balloon race, invite a reporter to take a hot-air balloon ride a week or two before your event, so she can write about it for her newspaper and tell readers what they can expect if they take a ride, too.
Is your local service club making Halloween candy and selling it to raise funds for the Katrina evacuees? Invite a reporter to put on an apron for an hour or two and help you make the candy. If you can involve a reporter in your story, you’ll end up with an excited reporter. And excited reporters seldom write dull stories.
But how do you get a busy reporter’s attention, other than a phone call or an email? My friend Deb Schmidt has a great idea. If you can get your hands on a photo of the reporter, either from the newspaper or from the newspaper’s website, you can imprint the photo onto a CD. Then send the CD to the reporter along with a sticker that says “An invitation for Jane Smith.”
If I were a reporter and saw my smiling mug on the front of a CD, you can bet I’d pop it into the CD player to see what’s on it.
Deb and I shared on “How to Plan & Promote Sizzling Special Events,” a set of 7 CDs that include 15 can’t-do-without-checklists for event planners. The lists cover everything from how to create a media plan for your event to how to avoid land mines if you’re serving food and alcohol.