Tid Bits on How to Gain Local News Coverage for Your Story/Cause

SA Living set

Earlier this week I had the priviledge, along with several of my LATISM (Latinos in Social Media)-San Antonio (@LATISM_SA) friends, to tour  our local NBC affiliate’s television station, WOAI (@News4WOAI) and I got more than I expected.


To start with, although this is our local chapter’s second meeting, our leaders – Melanie Mendez-Gonzales (@mendezgonzales) and Erica Guevara (@ericaguevara) were able to find someone to sponsor our event.  SpeedysChicken (@SpeedysChicken) was there willing and ready to feed us.  Their chicken strips were so tender and their sides were amazing! (FYI – If you want to learn more about being a young business owner like the owner of SpeedysChicken, click on the link to check out the story on Melanie’s blog ¿Qué? means what?)

After we were done with our meet and greet mingle, we were given the grand tour of the WOAI studios.  Our first stop was the news set and we had a blast pretending to do the weather and be news anchors.

So…being in front of a green screen takes a lot of getting used to
Carlos and I pretending to be the new weekend anchors.

We then moved on to check out all the behind the scenes action, where all the magic really happens 😉  It was a little surprising to find it only took a few people to run all the behind the scenes action, but it was pretty cool to see everything they could do with just a touch of a button.

Then came the topper.  Not only were we already over the moon with the cool stuff we got to see and do on full bellys, but we were treated to an open forum for questions and media practice with Laurie Salazar (News Reporter) and Erica Guevara (SA Living Producer).

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Laurie not only did media exercises with a few volunteers, but she also shared some insights on how she, and reporters in general, decide on which stories deserve local news coverage.

  • While they are still about “the facts ma’am,” they are also looking for the huminizing factor – that piece of the story that will get the Mom to stop cooking/cleaning long enough to hear the rest of the story
  • So if you have a story you’d like a local reporter to pick up, make sure you have all your facts in order when you contact them and
  • Make sure you have your human interest angle, whether you’re the one that the story is about or you are concerned about a situation/issue that affects others in your community

Erica shared that if what you’d like to do is to promote an event, new business, etc.  your best bet is to contact a producer because they know the layouts of an entire show and can see where they can fill with your information, but  as with a news story, you still have to make sure you don’t forget the 5 W’s – Who, What, When, Where and Why.

Needless to say, this event offered more than just a “celebrity” type tour…it also delivered on content, which was an exciting bonus. 🙂

Have you ever had an event or news story aired on a local/national television station?  What steps did you take to get the story or event out there?

Rocio Chavez
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