Do-it-yourself coverage

 Posted on: October 4 2016

If there is a universal complaint heard from many event organizers, it’s this one:

“No one ever comes to cover my event.”

You can fill in the blank as to who “no one” is—local newspaper, television stations, etc. Truth be told, it doesn’t matter who that media entity may be. There is a good chance, unless you’re holding a national or state championship or a huge community event (think marathon weekends), the media coverage is more than likely to be sparse.

Why is this?

The quick answer is, media doesn’t operate the way it used to.

The longer answer is, most media outlets have fewer people feeding more media channels. That means whatever story they’ve been assigned to do, they have to contribute a report to the ‘traditional’ media (TV newscast, print newspaper) as well as to the website and social media channels. So they’re doing a lot more with one story. That leaves little time to cover several stories in one day.

So that means, your weekend softball tournament may not see the light of the media’s day.

Nothing to get mad about to your local media outlet—they’re just trying to figure out their way in this changing media landscape. So instead of getting mad, get creative—and be your own media outlet.

Now, many events and venues have their own websites and social media channels. Make sure you flood them with the latest information on what you’re doing. Have up-to-date releases and photos (nothing more frustrating than to try to find out something about this year’s event when last year’s info is still up there). Post stuff to your Facebook pages (for the parents) but dip into the worlds of Snapchat and Instagram and upload video clips of cool stuff you’re doing—and encourage the young athletes who may be visiting over the weekend to do the same.

The idea is, get your important information out to those who have ‘opted’ in to find out more. If someone has chosen to ‘like’ your organization on Facebook, they’ve said that they want to get updates from you. You have a targeted audience—something a newspaper can’t offer.

But back to newspapers and local television: If you look on their websites, they often have community calendar sections where you can submit your own information—dates of upcoming tournaments, etc. Take advantage of that opportunity to post your own stuff—calendar mentions of event dates, news releases on upcoming events. Submit it all—they like content.

And speaking of posting your own stuff, don’t hesitate to send hi res photos and good quality videos to these outlets from your games and tournaments. The days of TV and newspaper not accepting viewer and reader material are gone. Again, be your own media outlet.

The advice here is: Don’t wait for the media to come to you. Go to the media. Send your material, pre-, during and post-event to your local media and to your most important audience—the people who have told you, through their ‘likes,’ ‘follows’ and comments, that they are interested in what you have to say.


Anonymous User
Very good advice. Be proactive in spreading the word...

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