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How-To Guide

Do's and Don't on Press Outreach

  • Do encourage your NetDay partners to send out their own press releases about their participation in your project.
  • Do anticipate questions that may be asked and have draft answers prepared.
  • Do review relevant facts, statistics, and specific examples that support your efforts.
  • Do make your points clearly and concisely.
  • Do go off the record when you want to reporter to have information, but without the ability to quote you by name.
  • Do arrange to have photos available for reporters who are writing stories about your event.
  • Do hold press conferences, especially if you have access to VIPs or celebrities who will speak for you. Suggestion: Announce your press conference by writing and distributing a Step One-type press release. If possible, have your VIP or celebrity distribute his or her own release.
  • Don't be shy. Every aspect of your project is an angle, and every angle deserves a story. An editor will never fault you for trying to get attention.
  • Don't get angry with the reporter. If you disagree with a statement a reporter makes, simply and calmly restate your points relevant to the conversation.
  • Don't continue to talk if you have adequately answered the question.
  • Don't be afraid to say you don't know the answer, but offer to find the information.
  • Don't include cover letters or other documents when sending just a press release. Your release should speak for itself (and it only has five seconds to do it!). However, cover letters are OK if you're sending a press kit.