Posted by Angela Stavrogiannopoulos

How to talk to your local press

Every person or organisation has a story to tell which will interest the media.  We need to increase public awareness and understanding of Rotary to set the stage for membership growth, fundraising and collaboration.  
Rotary members are actively working to improve communities around the world and have so much to share with an external audience so they can learn about Rotary and also hopefully join in our efforts.  The positive news is that media needs stories now more than ever - journalists require fresh information to plug into websites, papers, radio slots and television slots.  Time zones and printing schedules don’t limit the media anymore and most news outlets have a 24-hour news cycle to meet the growing demand to deliver news as it happens.
The challenge is to package and present stories in a way that will get them covered by media.
Below are a several factors that can determine whether a journalist will be keen on a story.
  • News hook: A clear reason for telling a story at a particular time. Does the story relate to current events, trends or observances?
  • Timeliness: News that is about to occur, ongoing or near completion.
  • Proximity: News that pertains to issues, people or events to occur within the location of a media organisation and audience.
  • Prominence: News that involves public figures, celebrities and notables.
  • Human interest: News that elicits sympathy or emotional response.
  • Consequence: News about the result of something that has significant impact on the news organisation’s audience or influencer’s followers.
  • Visually compelling: New or unique and attention getting images that dramatically convey the message.
  • Data: Relevant statistics and research that support the story.
Handy tip: do the following two things if you’d like to learn more and stay up to date with what media tend to write about or how you could fit into the mix.
  • Get to know your local media by reading the local newspaper, watch the evening news, listen to the radio to discover what stories are being shared.
  • Also, follow their social media channels to identify where your story might fit in to their mix.
For further information on how to create a pitch please contact
Angela Stavrogiannopoulos is Sr. Coordinator Communications and Public Relations at the Rotary International Office at Parramatta ,