Different publications have different lead in times - see our Getting coverage section for more information on when to contact journalists.
You should send press releases to:
- local and regional newspapers (dailies, weeklies and free-sheets)
- local and regional 'what's on' magazines listings and diaries (including free ones) such Artsnews
- specialist magazines like Arts Industry (ai) and Arts Professional
- arts and artists networks such as VAGA and ITC
- local radio and TV stations such as community TV
- any freelance photographers you know
- any regional correspondents for national newspapers who are based in your area (they may not cover it, but you may fit into a bigger story)
- relevant websites and blogs
- student journalists - they could be the next generation of mainstream journalists
It is also worth sending any of your own content (images, videos, podcasts etc) to the above, along with targeting influential journalists, celebrities and stakeholders on social networking platforms such as Twitter.
This may seem like a long list but don't be put off. Due to data protection requirements, we can't send you detailed lists of contacts, but you can get press contacts from a number of sources.
When you are collecting information make sure you get the phone numbers as well as the email and postal addresses of media contacts.
It's a very good idea to do a bit more work at this stage, rather than just sending releases to 'the editor'. If you contact the right person you're much more likely to get coverage. You'll also come across as more professional.
Ring up all the contacts you identify to find out the name and contact details (including email) of the person - or at least the 'desk' or programme - who should be getting your release. This will come in use later when you are following up your correspondence.
When you are talking to the print media (newspapers and magazines) get the details for the picture desks as well as the news and/or reviewers - you'll need to send information (and probably tickets) to both of these.
Ask how they would like to receive the information. They'll most likely ask for it by email, but they may prefer it posted or faxed. This is also a good opportunity to find out which day of the week is 'press day' for weekly publications, and what is the latest time that day that they can receive releases in order to cover the story in their next issue. They might also have an upcoming feature, for example 'things to do' or special issues that your activity will fit into.
If you can't get these details, send your information to the news desk or forward planning desk, or send it to both, as well as to picture desks for print media.