When thinking of approaching the media, most of us think of sending a press release. But press releases are aren’t the only way to reach out to media sources. In fact, I personally favor sending email. Email communication allows you to connect on a more personal level. For most major publications and programs, contact information for reporters, editors, and producers is readily available online.
Years ago, I read a business story in a major publication and took a chance on sending the reporter an email. I introduced myself, complimented the story, and let her know that I was available as a source on several related topics for future stories. She replied and thanked me, saying she would add me to her database.
Several months later, she called me twice in one week and quoted me in stories for Inc.com and the Los Angeles Times business section. Over the years, she has contacted me repeatedly for stories, all because I took two minutes to send one email.
Don’t be afraid to contact media pros directly. Remember that they need sources. Pitch an interesting news topic or add input on a recently covered story—and don’t forget to include a concise summary of your background, accomplishments, books published, and relevant certifications or awards that show you’re an expert in your field—and you could find yourself landing in the spotlight.