Sales and Marketing
Using the Media to your Advantage
Advertising can be a great advantage in helping you grow your business but it can also
be a significant operating expense for most sales associates. The good news is that
there are methods at your disposal for creating opportunities to receive free advertising!
Did you know that independent coverage by media outlets such as newspapers,
television, radio, and even Internet sites can be a great way to get free coverage for
your charitable events? In turn, you and your office will also receive free promotion!
So how do you tap into this source of promotion? Journalists obtain some of their story
leads from press releases which arrive at their desks. Writing a press release that grabs
the attention of an editor takes some finesse, and Sutton is happy to assist you. Simply
submit the details outlined below to firstname.lastname@example.org and our professional
writers will create a press release that will help to generate interest in your event and
promote your involvement.
Here are some tips to think about when sending us your story’s information:
In order to increase the chances of a media outlet picking up your story, consider the
event from a journalist’s perspective. Ask yourself whether readers/listeners will find
your story interesting. If your event is focused on your or your office, the public (and the
media) may not find it newsworthy. Sutton Spirit events that benefit the community and
have an interesting human interest angle are the most successful.
Whether you choose to submit information to Sutton Spirit for a press release or decide
to write your own, here are some helpful tips on how to submit a press release, keep the
following points in mind:
• Press release headlines should be informative including details such as where
and when the event is happening and who are the beneficiaries. Events that
benefit the community and have a human interest angle tend to arouse more
• Briefly describe the reason for your involvement in the event (e.g. a child needs a
new wheelchair, you play guitar and volunteered your time to play at a benefit
• The opening sentence and the first paragraph should tell the reader what the
story is about (put the most interesting details first because most journalists are
too busy to read to the end of each release they receive).
• Use short sentences and paragraphs
• A one-page press release is preferable.
• Include your telephone number, email address, information about your
organization, and one or two photographs.
Sales and Marketing
Creating Media Contacts
Once you have a newsworthy press release, send it to the local media.
• Decide where you would like to see news of your event appear
• Start building up a database of the names and addresses of these media outlets
including the editors’ names, fax and telephone numbers, etc.
• Find out who manages the pages that relate to your event. For example, if your
story is about raising funds for a local Little League team, find out who edits the
sports or community section. If your event is helping to support a local orchestra,
find out who edits the Arts section. If you cannot reach the editor, knowing the
main writer is also helpful.
• Once you have these contacts, you can address your press release to a specific
person, which increases the likelihood that it will be used for an article.
Establishing Relationships with the Media
A great press release with a compelling human interest angle is the most important
criteria for getting your story into the media. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to have a
good relationship with some key figures in your local media.
Make a list of three or four key media outlets in your community and send them a press
pack (including a one-page introduction about you and your Sutton office, good quality
colour photos and a business card) when you send your first press release. If they
decide to use your press release, the information in your press pack will help to save
them research time. If you send your press release via fax, indicate that you would be
happy to provide the electronic version if needed. Send a new press pack once a year
to keep it up-to-date.
Call your media contacts occasionally with tips on interesting article ideas. This is
especially effective when the article ideas are not directly related to you or your
work. Journalists are always looking for good article ideas and they are sure to
appreciate and remember your tips.
Get involved and discover how good it feels to put the Sutton Spirit into action in your