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There's no such thing as a slow news day

Lynn Fenske

The war in Iraq and the SARS outbreak have dominated the headlines for weeks, reminding us of how impacting news reporting is on our daily lives. As news stories (and casual conversations) gradually return to regular topics of discussion like politics and the weather, the panic seems to be over - at least until the next time.

As you breathe a sigh of relief let me assure you that while crises may come and go, the news is never slow. It just oscillates between the everyday and the life threatening.

Regardless of their specialty, journalists are always on the frontlines of communicating what's happening - 24/7. They can't always predict where any story will take them or whom they'll need to talk to in order to get the necessary facts and comments. One thing is for certain; they will always need quick access to people in the know.

So you may be sitting there thinking "the media never calls to speak with me". Or you have already made the assumption that if they haven't called by now, they never will. Well, consider this - is your expertise relevant to today's news story? Do you have any way of knowing for sure when you will be of interest to a roving reporter? Or better yet, have you done all you can do to make yourself known as a contact/expert in your given field of endeavour?

Listing in Sources is a major step in the right direction. Next to the telephone book, the Sources directory is the most used resource a Canadian journalist has for finding spokespeople relevant to any particular story. The heart of your listing is the descriptive paragraph. Some organizations print their mission statement while others address journalists directly. Whatever format you choose, make sure you provide a brief, compelling introduction to your organization so Sources users clearly understand who you are and what you do.

The next thing you can do is keep reading your HotLink newsletter and visit our Web site (www.hotlink.ca) regularly. We've crafted HotLink to be your perpetual guide to getting positive news coverage. With each new issue we offer the best advice available from industry insiders. Like the media, we appreciate your comments. If you're feeling "out of the loop" let us know what we can do to help you improve your media relations. After all, it's only a matter of time before a reporter will call …

 

This article originally appeared in The Sources HotLink, published by Sources and available online at www.hotlink.ca.

See also:
Nurturing your relationships with reporters
Effective Media Relations
What Does a Reporter Want?
Why I Am Listed in Sources
Eight Best Books for Publicity Seekers
Media Relations (review)

 

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