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How to get positive TV coverage of paintball
by Bill Mills

[From a r.s.pb thread on getting your local TV station to come out and do a positive piece on paintball.]



First of all, calling multiple TV stations at the same time is bad. They probably wouldn't want to run an 'interest' story on paintball within at least a month of other stations. An event story (like a charity fundraiser game, etc.) won't likely say as much about what the sport really is, but is much more likely to be covered, and will get a foot in the door for an interest story later. There are likely to be no hastles with multiple media sources covering the same event story.

 For an interest story, a letter with a follow-up call to the sports editor/anchor (the follow-up call should come 10-15 days after the letter is expected to arrive) inviting them to come out and play with your team at a local commercial field where you know things are run well.

 For an event story, the event organizer should write up a press release, extoling the virtues of their event to the non-paintball player. It should read like a newspaper article, explaining the whole thing (the five Ws) and include some photos-posed since this is prior to the event- not of action stuff, but non-evil looking, non-gun toting, field manager shaking hands with charity chairman in front of a banner for the event kind of stuff. The photos help to legitimize it in the eyes of the various outlets, and some smaller newspapers will just change the press release to past-tense, and run it with the photo after the event withoug bothering to send someone out (in this case, without the photos and the AP style release, they likely would not have sent anyone either, thye just wouldn't run a story). The press releases, should be followed up by a call 4 or 5 days prior to the event.

 Also, if Joe Namath gets arrested for murdering his ex-wife, and is chased down the freeway in a black Jeep Cherokee, don't be surprised at all if your story NEVER gets aired. If an new story doesn't air straight away, it dies in the can. Buck-up and plan the next event to draw the press out.

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