News Media Relations for Extension Educators

Despite all that’s happening with new forms of media, especially social media, our success as Extension educators will still depend on how well we cultivate strong working relationships with media gatekeepers.  We will not be as effective getting out our diverse messages unless we know who these gatekeepers are and, equally important, how to work with them.

Please visit the Alabama Cooperative Extension System Web site to download a copy of my publication, “News Media Relations: The Fundamentals.”

The following are a series of podcasts dealing with building and maintaining effective media gatekeeper relationships:

Part 1: Knowing the Gatekeeper

Gatekeepers operate with many different titles.  One of the challenges of developing a successful media relations strategy is feeling your way around a newspaper’s or broadcast station’s organizational structure and personal dynamics to determine who these gatekeepers are.

Part 2:  Knowing What Is News

For our stories and events to be reported by newspapers and broadcast stations, we first have to convince gatekeepers that they are actually news.

Part 3: Sources of News Coverage

Becoming an effective user of print and broadcast media involves cultivating an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each medium — newspaper, TV and radio.

Part 4: Keeping a List

One key to successful news dissemination is compiling a frequently updated list of key news outlets.

Part 5: Working with Gatekeepers

Another key to successful media outreach is developing strong, mutually beneficial relationships with media gatekeepers.

Part 6: Pitching 101

You’ve identified your gatekeepers and you’ve familiarized yourself with how they cover news — the next step: persuading them to cover your news.

Part 7: Parting Thoughts and a Charge

As boundaries between old and new media are erased, we Extension educators are being challenged to act and think differently.

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