Who to Contact

Your media list and it is looking good. The only question left is, which reporters do you want to contact? That varies of course, depending on the type of announcement you are making, but here is a good list to go by. As you become more familiar with the media outlet, you will discover specific reporters who you should contact on a regular basis.

At television stations:

  • News directors – especially to invite to VIP events
  • Assignment editors – if you don’t know who to contact, this should be your first choice
  • Morning and/or noon producers – these are the people who book guests and determine if the station will cover your story or interview during the daytime newscasts
  • Meteorologists – sometimes they announce events before or after their weather segment (more often when their station is a sponsor)
  • Public service announcement (PSA) directors – these people are usually the community relations directors as well; they typically develop the schedule for airing PSAs
  • Specific reporters and photojournalists
  • Anchors – also should be invited to VIP events
  • Online content editors – have your information posted on the station’s website

At radio stations:

  • News directors
  • Specific reporters – usually only necessary on stations that are formatted for news
  • Talk show producers and/or hosts

At magazines:

  • Editors
  • Photo editors
  • Calendar editors/reporters
  • Community editors/reporters
  • Specific reporters that cover your non-profit’s area

At daily newspapers:

  • Section editors – i.e., metro, business, lifestyle, etc.
  • Community/non-profit editors/reporters
  • Photo editors
  • Editorial editors/writers – for those times you have a specific issue to address
  • Specific lifestyle and metro reporters
  • Travel editors/reporters – especially for newspapers outside your market
  • Calendar editors/reporters
  • Humorists/columnists
  • Society columnists – especially when planning a fundraiser or VIP event
  • Education editors/reporters – especially if you are developing programming designed to educate children on a particular topic
  • Online content editors

At weekly newspapers:

  • Editors – most weekly newspapers are small publications with very small staffs; sending information to the editor of these types of publications should be sufficient

From Texas Commission on the Arts
Media Relations 101