I know it has recently become a great British pastime to bash the media, and newspapers in particular. But everybody needs the Press at times … so how do you get it to work for you?
First, if you’re going to pitch your events then it’s useful to understand how the market-place works:
- Understand what the media is … the media is actually known as the Fourth Estate, an accepted cornerstone of democracy in our very undemocratic world. It is an investigative body which has earned the right to shine a light in the beds of those who control our lives and those who are corrupt or dangerous (the very people this site is trying to expose).
- People complain that the Press in particular is Tory – but in fact the Press represents all aspects of political views, far more than other arms of the media do. The Press is also privately owned – the alternative of state ownership should make anybody shiver – and as such is allowed to have its own political opinions and slant.
- Can the media help people who are fighting parental alienation? I believe so – I’m a former ‘Fleet Street’ journalist and have worked on many campaigns, including hunting down perverts Cyril Smith and Jimmy Savile. The majority of people in the media want exactly what I want – and that’s to be able to tell the truth.
- Is the Press honest? Generally yes – there are rogues of course – but people tend to accuse the Press of dishonesty basically because they don’t agree with what is being reported … and that’s the clue to the day-to-day running of the media, it reports what is happening and what it is told is happening…
- So, how do you get your story in the Press? Well, first you have to convince the newsdesk that you have something to say that other people will want to listen to … you do have something of course, parental alienation.
- Focussing on newspapers – there are three tiers of newspaper a. local b. Regional and c. national. Local papers are interested in local issues, particularly if the subject can expand into a national or international agenda. So, tell the local newspaper what has happened to you and why you are taking the action you are … regional newspapers often take their news-feeds from local news outlets and the nationals do the same with the regionals – therefore, if your story is presented properly there is every chance it will rise up the news agendas.
- How to approach a newsdesk … don’t go to the editor (unless the news outlet itself tells you to) go to the newsdesk, check your newspaper’s website for contact details. In the first place send them an email saying who you are and what your story is about. Supply your contact details.
- What next? Call the newsdesk and ask if the mail has dropped. They will almost certainly check and then of course your mail is in front of them and you have a journalist at the other end of the phone … pitch to them as quickly and succinctly as you can.
- Answer their questions honestly, supply pictures if they ask and also offer to take photographs at the event and send them in for publication.
Finally, copyright of stories on consumerwatchfoundation.com remains with the authors – but as editor of CWF I am happy for people to distribute links to CWF stories to support their requests for publicity etc …