Know their deadlines. Make certain you know each news organization’s deadline for submitting news and make every effort to submit your news at least one day before the deadline. Small, weekly publications may have a deadline three or four days before the publication date.

Don’t play favorites. You want to get as many news organizations as possible to cover your news. Organizations in the same media market compete against each other and do not like having a competitor receiving favored treatment. Give the same information to all news organizations at the same time, or consistent with their deadlines.

Nothing is off the record. It is always better to assume that anything you say to an editor or a reporter will be published or aired. News organizations have complicated rules for “off the record,” “not for attribution,” “for background only,” and other forms of receiving information. Try to avoid this situation. Don’t expect a reporter to agree not to use something after you have said it. Anything off the record must be agreed to in advance.

Return phone calls promptly. An editor or a reporter may be up against a deadline and seeking clarification or confirmation of information. If they don’t hear back from you, your news release may not get published.

Look for help. If you know a journalism teacher or a student taking a journalism course, they may be able to help you by writing or editing your news releases and by providing information about local news organizations.

Prepare for interviews. If a reporter asks for an interview, take time to organize your thoughts and your message before the interview. Always have a message – two or three major points that you want to communicate to the public through the reporter. After an interview, feel free to follow up with the reporter with additional information or to clarify something you said.

Corrections. If a news report contains an error, contact the reporter or editor as soon as possible to let them know. Mistakes will happen and you should not get angry about it or demand a correction. Most news organizations are willing to correct their mistakes. It is usually easier to get them to correct a mistake if you are polite and not confrontational.

Show your appreciation. If your news release is used by a news organization, you should thank them.