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Planning a Press Event

Notify the Media

Every press event must provide written notification to reporters in the form of a press advisory. These advisories should be followed up with phone calls and additional background information when requested. Advisories should be sent five to seven days before the planned briefing, conference, or other event. Follow-up calls should begin three to four days before the event, and continue until the day of the event.

It is also critical to make sure that every event you plan is included in the 'daybooks.' These private or public relations news wires are an additional source for getting the word to the media about your news conference. Most large cities have an Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI) daybook, which is run by editors in each market. Check out AP Online.

Most markets have a daily and a weekly version of the daybooks. Deadlines for daybooks are usually 3 p.m. on the day before your event for daily calendars. Call and get the deadlines for weekly daybooks. Mail, phone or fax the information at least 48 hours before your event to your local daybook. Be sure to call and double-check that the editors included your entry - this is not a favor, it is a calendar of events for the media to attend/respond to.

Most editors simply take the opening sentence of your advisory along with the contact name and phone number for your entry in the daybook, so make sure that the most important and compelling information is at the top.

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