MMRF Endurance Events

Fundraising Tips - Week 12

Week #12 – Get Your Story Featured in the Local Press or Media

Sending out a press release to local news stations and newspapers is a great way to raise awareness for your event. For help getting started, use our press release template here.

Use the PR template to tell your story.  Incorporate the facts below, keep it short, and think about what will make your story stand out. Remember to include the link to your donation page!

  • Where are you from?
  • What do you do?
  • Why are you taking on this marathon, triathlon or cycling event?
  • Who are you running for?
  • What is compelling about your story (Very important!)

Tips for getting media coverage:

Contact the media two weeks before your event.  If you don’t hear back, try to contact them again a week before the race.   The media often does not plan coverage until closer to an event.  Know that they might want to cover you before the event, or might be interested in photos afterwards. 

Think about what you are going to say to grab their attention.  This ‘hook’ is what you are going to lead with when you write or call. The editor gets lots of stories ideas coming his/her way. You want to stand out. (See below for examples)

Keep your note short and interesting to pique their interest.

Newspaper and TV websites usually have good contact information for the news editors.  Write an email directly to the editor and if it is a big paper, copy the managing editor and/or sport editor.  You want several eyes seeing your email.

Be sure to include a photo of you (hopefully in your MMRF PowerTeam shirt) and/or of the person who you are running for. The person who decides if the story will be covered will connect better with a story they can envision.  A photo helps them do that.

Attach the press release, and then follow up in a few days with another email or phone call if you have not heard back.  Be prepared to give the quick “elevator’ pitch of the story when that busy editor picks up the phone.

Here are a few sample great opening sentences for your short hook sentence:

  • Running 5-10 miles a day in the 5 AM darkness through winter is not for everyone.  But this is what working mom Tammy Smith, of Salem, IL, must do if she is to fulfill her dream to run the Boston Marathon this April to honor her mother.

  • Matt Trombly knew he needed to lose weight.  His father passed away from heart disease in his early 50’s and Matt, who was close to 275 pounds, knew he was headed down the same path.  But it took the difficult news that a neighbor and friend, Molly Smith had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a deadly blood cancer, to get Matt off of the couch and into running shoes.  Now, 10 months later, Matt is getting ready to line up at the start of the NYC Marathon on November 4th.  He has lost 75 pounds and has raised more than $10,000 for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), an organization that directs 90% of its budget to myeloma research.

  • When John Watson was young, he remembers watching his father lace up his running shoes and go out for his daily jogs.  Later, when he was old enough, John would join his father on his running route.   This Sunday, John will put on his OWN running shoes and take on the Chicago Marathon to honor his father, Dean Watson.  Last year, Dean lost his battle with multiple myeloma, a terrible blood cancer with one of the worst survival rates of any cancer.