Wyoming Arts Council

Tips on getting that coveted free publicity

Taken from the Casper Star-Tribune’s May 20 edition, here are some great tips from Lisa Icenogle, Casper College public relations, if you or your organization have an upcoming event and would like to get the word out effectively before the event takes place.

* Think about coverage as soon as you begin organizing the event. If you want publicity, assign someone to inform the media early on.
* Give plenty of warning. If you’re inviting the public to your event, give the media three weeks’s lead time.
* When sending information to the media, remember the traditional five W’s: who, what, where, when, and why.
* Just the facts, ma’am. Reporters will pare down any profusion of words.
* Quotes from an appropriate spokesperson can add punch.
* Deliver your news by e-mail. The reporter can cut and paste hunks of useful text, (I can attest to this) and there’s less chance of your hard copy document being lost in the shuffle.
* Have somebody proofread your work. Are the names spelled right? Dates and times accurate? Entities publishing your news are assuming that these details are correct.
* Provide a direct phone number for a knowledgeable spokesperson. The easier it is to get in touch with key personnel, the easier the news can get out there. Your event is not the only one happening that day.
* If you frequently need publicity, establish a relationship with a reporter or editor.
* Don’t send posed photos after the event is over. The honesty and spontaneity of the event is lost.
* If your event wasn’t covered, why not? Was your information late? Did bigger news break? Whatever the reason don’t take it personally. Establish that relationship with the delivering medium for the next event coming up.
* Treat the people you want to spread the information the same way you would like to be treated. Common courtesy goes a long way.

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