Get media coverage for your event

Although it takes some work to get a media outreach program up and running, the long-term benefits can be great and will help make your event successful going into the future.

Why do you need coverage?

You want to tell people about your event and, if your event is a charity fundraiser, you want people to know what the charity is. Your goals might be:

  1. To introduce people to your event, if it’s new or remind them it exists, if it is older and established
  2. To get people to register and participate in the event (of course!)
  3. To gain publicity for and promote your sponsors
  4. To help the community know about the event in advance, particularly if your operations will affect the community: i.e., closing roads, rerouting traffic, etc.
  5. To find volunteers to help run your event. Media coverage is a great way to publicize the need for volunteers

Make a plan, set your goals

As with all things we discuss in these marketing tips, it’s best to make a plan and choose a few goals when planning your media campaign.

  1. Start by thinking about what your story is.
    • What are the benefits to the community?
    • What do you want the community to know about your ride and the charity it supports (if there is one). Remember, you want your story to be about the participants and what they will get out of the event--not about you.
    • Write down a few key ideas.
  2. What outlets would you like to cover your story? Make a list.
    • Local publications: Newspapers and magazines
    • Local blogs and podcasts
    • Local television and radio stations
  3. Get to know the outlets on your list.
    • Find out who would be likely to cover your story.
    • Reach out via email or telephone. Be prepared to call and call and call before you get a response.
    • Let the journalists, hosts or bloggers know the story of your event.
    • Ideally, you want to get to know these media contacts before you actually need them, so follow them on social media (if they are on those channels), comment on their stories, introduce yourself.
  4. The real work starts when these media outlets do respond positively.
    • Make yourself or a representative of either your event or the charity you are supporting, available for interviews.
  5. Follow up with your media contacts
    • Thank them when they do cover your event.
    • Find out if they ride and invite them to participate gratis.