Engaging Local Media
If there’s one thing that often sets apart races that go on to do really well from others that struggle to gain traction in their community, it’s the ability of the former - and the inability of the latter - to engage with the non-race world. And nowhere is this more evident than the way in which events interact with local media.
The truth of the matter is, very few people participate in races. And very few people outside of those who do care about anything race-specific a race has to say.
So how can races hope to reach out to the broader public? What stories can they tell that are relevant to many more people than the ones who show up at the start line on race day? And how can you, armed with those stories, get out and pitch them to your local paper, radio or TV station?
That is what we’ll be discussing today with my guest Race El Paso owner, Gabriela Gallegos. Gabriela is a triathlon race director, so it’s not totally unfair to describe her audience as a bit niche, by broad-appeal standards. Yet, Gabriela managed to make triathlon the talk of the town in El Paso, TX through a series of media engagements culminating in the live broadcast of her all-female Mighty Mujer triathlon by her local NBC affiliate, an achievement for which she was recently recognized with USA Triathlon’s annual Innovation Award. And today she’ll be helping us break down the art of engaging local media, from finding the story to pitching the people that matter.
In this episode:
- Why developing a local media strategy matters
- Which kinds of stories get the local press excited (and which don't)
- Being deliberate about bringing out the stories in your event
- Human interest stories: what they are, and how to promote them
- Writing engaging press releases: the 5Ws + who cares?
- Beyond human interest stories: expert advice stories & op-eds
- Matching the tone and content of your story to your target press outlet
- Finding the right press contact and pitching your story to the press
- Media alerts and monitoring online media
- Working with TV stations on live race coverage
Thanks to RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit runsignup.com.
You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.
You can also share your questions about engaging local media or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.