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Radio and television stations are required to air a certain number of public service announcements (PSA's) for free. This is a great way for you to increase your media coverage. Remember, you are getting the air time for free, so you won't get any guarantees of when it will air or how often.
Radio. Call the station and ask for the name of its public affairs or community affairs director. Write this person a brief letter about the Day and enclose your media alert. Follow up with a telephone call.
The station may request a prerecorded tape, or it may have one of its own announcers record it. The station may even be willing to write the copy for you. However, if you write it, keep in mind that the PSA should last approximately 30 seconds. Stick to the essentials-what your event is, when and where it takes place, who will be there, etc.
Television. If you would like to pursue this idea, you might try a local college that offers television production classes; this could be a good student project. Local cable public access stations may also be able to help out. Of course, convincing a local network affiliate to put one together for you would be great. Contact the public affairs director.
Posters and flyers are great ways to publicize your event in your community. Here is a list of options for developing a poster or flyer:
Unfortunately, sending out media alerts and press releases isn't enough to guarantee coverage. You may get a phone call back, but don't count on it. It's up to you to call the people on your list, starting with those who will help you reach the most people in your primary audience. Verify that they received the information, suggest several story ideas, and confirm whether they or someone else from their organization will attend the event.
Get copies of newspaper and magazine coverage of your event. If possible, tape television and radio news stories and ask the station for a complimentary copy. When you report your activities at NGWSD Central, www.NGWSDCentral.com, be sure to mention that you had media coverage and what kind. Evidence of media coverage will help us secure future sponsorship of the Day both for the national organizations and your local group. There's nothing a potential sponsor likes better than media exposure. Also, keep notes about the people you spoke with at each publication or station. That will make it easier next year to plan your media efforts.