In developing an identity for your business or organization, you need to communicate your story, periodically, and in a variety of ways. In early December 2014, the Arts Roundtable assembled a Media Panel filled with local media representatives. The panel answered questions and shared valuable tips for Arts Organizations, Arts Businesses, and Artists to more effectively secure media attention in connecting to their audience. While answers given were specific to an individual’s workplace, similar guidelines generally apply to the given genre. Below is a compilation of inside information you should keep in mind.
We all have them! In order to garner media attention, be aware of a media outlet’s deadline as well as your own.
Keep in mind… earlier is always better and more effective.
Newspaper – According to The Joplin Globe (daily cycle), Monday is a great day for press releases, as long as they come a week or two in advance of an event. This is the ideal and most likely to get the attention you desire.
For possible inclusion in a feature section, a minimum 3-day lead time is absolutely required. For Sunday’s paper, submit by Thursday, and for the weekend entertainment section (Enjoy) submit by Tuesday. Anything for the calendar requires a minimum of one week notice.
NOTE: There are many places to promote an event. Submitting 1-2 weeks in advance helps in planning coverage before, during or even after the event. Drop dead deadline: Even if you are inside the 3-day window…send your information anyway and we may use it if space allows, but no promises.
Magazine – For a monthly publication, like Show Me the Ozarks Magazine, the 10th of the month is a deadline for items to be covered in the next month’s issue. They require a 30 to 45 day advance.
TV – News deadlines run on a day-to-day basis, but event coverage requires 2-week notice with follow-up a day before the event. For scheduling onto a show, KSN needs 3 or 4 week advance notice.
Radio – For 101.7 FM & 103.5 FM, contact at least 2 weeks in advance to allow more time to run your promotion multiple times.
C2C – Years in advance is OK…the sooner to place you on the website calendar! (This can help other organizations schedule events to avoid competition for audience.) For inclusion in the weekly email (covering Monday – Friday), Saturday is the deadline; for weekend coverage (covering the weekend as well as a preview of the following week), Wednesday is the deadline. Any information can be immediately promoted via social media even when beyond deadline, and will be included on the website, but not email.
PREFERRED METHOD OF CONTACT
In general, email – additional thoughts or exceptions below.
TV – To insure you connect with the right person, KSN warns you should not send private Facebook messages. Contact the producer of the show where you wish to appear.
Radio – Radio is not only music-centric. It is a great platform to promote different types of arts events. Consider calling up and requesting they write a public service announcement (PSA) with you providing the key information. Radio does not have strict deadlines. If you have an up-coming event, and know the points you want to hit, you might even want to come into the studio and do a short promotional piece.
WHAT IS NEWSWORTHY?
This can be a matter of perspective and priority. Competition for time and space varies with the news cycle. Do not get discouraged. Do not quit telling your story.
Newspaper – The Joplin Globe tries to make the best decisions for its readership. While there is only a certain amount of space available, there are many places you could promote your event (news briefs, calendar, features sections). Just because your story doesn’t get in one day/week does not mean it won’t appear the next. Priorities change. Note: The number of events that get onto the calendar depends on how much space is available.
What to include beyond the basic “who/what/where/when”?
Newspaper/Magazine/TV/Radio – A personal, human interest story with individual or community ties to the subject helps generate a more interesting story and is more likely to be covered.
Newspaper – The Joplin Globe will accept photos to promote an event before it happens. As an event happens, they prefer their own photographers. (There are exceptions).
Magazine – While Show Me the Ozarks Magazine considers photo submissions, they like to send their own photographers to promote events ahead of time.
C2C – C2C welcomes promotional images for your events/classes/exhibits/etc. Such visual aids help draw in audience. Be sure to cover the basic questions above completely before sending your press release. C2C often follows up with more questions.
Preferred subject-line for email press release? General consensus is NOT “Press Release,” but rather something relevant to the event.
Magazine – Show Me the Ozarks Magazine always appreciates a “catchy” subject line. They suggest including a quote to give perspective. ALWAYS include the name of a contact person for follow-up!
C2C – No preference…just send it!
How long should a press release be?
Newspaper – It should be no more than 4 paragraphs. The Joplin Globe is looking for basic information and a hook. The easier it is to understand, the more likely it will be quickly showcased.
Magazine – 400 words or less! Show Me Ozarks Magazine says 300 words is plenty if you have a clever headline to capture attention.
TV – For KSN, length is not critical. Make sure you have something visual to be filmed if you want event coverage. For on-air appearance, bring visual aids/props, and write down high-points you want covered…even script questions. This makes the job easier.
Radio – Just cover the basics. In radio, sound-bites are small…one paragraph. For an interview, scripted questions are a great idea.
C2C – Should be long enough to get your story across. Be direct, succinct, and complete. Include all information that an outsider needs to know in order to understand your event.
Frequency of press releases? Can you send too many and get “black-balled”? When in doubt, SEND! Sharing timely information with a follow-up reminder is sufficient and appreciated.
Newspaper – Generally not a problem. Give information 2 weeks in advance with a reminder 1 week before. One reminder is sufficient!
Magazine – Really depends on the organization, the quality of the press release, and if the story is interesting. The more you send information, the more likely you are to get into the magazine. The earlier you send it, the more time allowed to find space. It does depend on available space.
When is the best time to follow-up a press release email to verify coverage of an event? (If you cannot be there should I send a photo and a sentence describing it for you to use?)
Newspaper – The Joplin Globe will contact you if they are coming to cover. Reporters and photographers are limited in numbers and coverage is never promised. They welcome publicity images; community photos can be featured above the calendar. The entertainment section (Enjoy) accepts submitted art. As an event happens, they (usually) want their own photographers.
Magazine – While they welcome photo submissions, Show Me the Ozarks Magazine likes to send their own photographers to promote an event.
TV – For a weekend event, call Thursday afternoon to remind and check coverage. Weekend assignments are made Thurs afternoon or Friday morning. On other event days, call between 8:30 and 9:30 AM. If you want a specific reporter, you might call them directly, or call Stuart Price, current assignment editor for KSN and KODE, or do both.
Radio – All stations promote community events, and with 2 weeks notice an interview could be scheduled. Call 3 days in advance to check. An interview takes no more than 30 minutes, less if you have a script of questions and points you want to highlight.
C2C – We always cover arts events, but can’t always attend. Send clear photos and they will be used!
Pet peeves? Consensus is that nobody likes Word documents. All prefer copy in email body. PDF – OK. Images/Posters/Promos OK.
Newspaper – Don’t try to play the media against each other. Don’t say “well TV’s doing it, so you should too.” The Joplin Globe recognizes that for what the arts community is doing, the more eyeballs the better, but each media outlet has their restrictions.
Magazine – Sending the event without a contact person and phone number is a definite pet peeve!
TV- Suitable press release formatting! KSN does not have Microsoft Office. If you send a Word, or Publisher document…they will not be able to open it. Do save and send your document as a PDF and they can open it. Do not Facebook message the hosts if you are not getting a response from your press release. Always know the host’s name if you are a guest on one of the shows.
Radio – Being too lengthy and not direct! Be succinct…straight to the point…one paragraph. In radio, sound bites are small.
C2C – Formatting problems! There can even be formatting problems when you copy-paste from a PDF. They would prefer copy is placed directly in the email body. Another pet peeve is finding out about events on Facebook without receiving info beforehand. Impossible to do a daily check on all organization’s Facebook pages. Please send your info before placing on Facebook.
What about social media? Can we request you promote us on Facebook if we miss your deadlines? Most said yes.
Newspaper – The Joplin Globe does social media differently. Featured content always leads back to their website. It is used for breaking news. They post photos occasionally. They advise to get on Facebook and/or Twitter if you are not already there. The Globe will often “tag” organizations in posts, and encourages interaction by retweeting, sharing, etc.
C2C – For your information, it is recommended you use the hashtag #joplinarts in your posts whenever possible. This is a type of metadata tag and allows grouping of similarly tagged messages. It also allows an electronic search to return all messages containing it. This means when you search #joplinarts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. you will be able to recall all information including that tag. This accumulation of arts content will help showcase all the arts and cultural scene in Joplin has to offer. Ask Emily for more info about hashtags.
ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND
You need to be brief, be direct, be specific, and know deadlines for each media outlet.
Newspaper – To have the best chance to be included in the Enjoy section of The Joplin Globe, get your press release in first thing Monday when plans are being made for the weekend. Keep feeding the media. We are hungry for information and hate finding out after the fact
Magazine – A fast-paced environment starting early at 6 AM and sometimes stretching to 10 PM makes it imperative that you meet 10th of the month deadline in ordered to be considered for inclusion in Show Me the Ozarks next issue. Monday is definitely the best day to get noticed
TV – For KSN, be direct. If you want to be a guest on the Morning Show, the 4pm Living Well show, or have Brad Douglas do a Brad’s Beat, let them know. That way, your email/press release will be routed to the right person.
Radio – Everything takes time! Direct, brief and timely communication is most effective
C2C – C2C solely promotes the arts in Joplin, but is unfortunately NOT clairvoyant. Send information directly, even if you are not contacting other media. Send as soon as planned…even a year in advance to get onto the calendar. This can help other organizations schedule their events to avoid unintentional competition for audience. NOTE: It is not effective for C2C to sift through Facebook pages to figure out you need promotion. Be included on the Joplin Community Arts Calendar and feel free to send a story to be part of the Joplin Arts News.
NEXT C2C ARTS ROUNDTABLE:
What Everyone Should Know About Copyrights
March 4, 2015, 5–7pm at the Post Memorial Art Reference Library
Learn the basics of copyright law: who owns what, how much you can use of someone else’s work, what’s really “fair” about “fair use,” what happens when you sell a piece, and how to avoid disputes! Myths will be debunked and famous artists’ infringements analyzed. Speaker: Donald R. Simon, J.D./LL.M, president of Simon Business Consulting, Inc. and member of Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers & Accountants for the Arts (KCVLAA).
All leaders, supporters, and advocates of the Joplin Arts are welcome to attend these roundtables.
You should be sending your information/press releases to the contacts below. This list will be in constant growth so be sure to check back.
Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Coordinator: email@example.com
The Joplin Globe
firstname.lastname@example.org: General news basket
email@example.com: General events for publication in calendar
firstname.lastname@example.org: Joe Hadsall, Features Editor
email@example.com: Kevin McClintock, editor of JMag
firstname.lastname@example.org: Andy Ostmeyer, Metro Editor (handles daily assignments)
Brad Douglas, Feature Reporter: email@example.com
Stuart Price, Assignment Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Felicia Lawrence, Weekend Anchor/Weekend Assignments: email@example.com
Marian Kelly, Morning Show Producer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Crosswhite, Morning Show Anchor: email@example.com
Philip Mitchell, Main Anchor/Living Well Host: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Smith, Living Well Producer: email@example.com
Show Me the Ozarks Magazine
Sue Dillmon, Editorial Director & Account Executive: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee Radcliff, Publisher & Editor: email@example.com
101.7 FM & 103.5 FM
Alex Scimeca, DJ: firstname.lastname@example.org
News Tips and News Releases: email@example.com
Request to appear on the Morning News: http://www.koamtv.com/category/272910/morning-news-guest-appearance-request-form
Lisa Olliges, Reporter and Weekend Anchor and Producer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Spears, Reporter: email@example.com
Matt Lamb, firstname.lastname@example.org
KRPS (send two weeks in advance to be placed on the community calendar)
Visit http://www.krps.org/contact/events.dot to submit your event.
Chad Elliot, Morning Newswatch Host: email@example.com
Darrin Wright, KZRG News Director/Morning News Anchor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Lancello, Afternoon News/Sports Reporter/Anchor: email@example.com
Sarah Novotny, KZRG Morning News Anchor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joplin Conventions & Visitors Bureau
Donna Miller, Office Manager: email@example.com
The Current ETC.
Lance Allen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joplin Regional Business Journal
Mikell Warren, Publisher: email@example.com
Larry Warren, Publisher: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Mink, Reporter: email@example.com
Savanah Mandeville, Reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org