How to Capture Media Attention for Your Business, Organization or Cause

Gaining media exposure for your event or cause may feel like a daunting task. Although not always easy, it is worth the effort. Here are some tips and strategies that can help you gain the exposure you want.

By Teresa Riccobuono and Lori Luckenbach, PR and Media Co-Chairs, FPA of the East Bay

First, decide who you want to attract. Make a media target list.

  • Survey members, board members, and clients to see who they know in the media.
  • FPA National can provide a media list for your area. Contact Theresa Jennings.

Second, prioritize the list. Time is a valuable commodity and you may not have the time and resources to reach out to everyone on your list.

Next, determine what medium is best for reaching contacts listed on your target list. This may come down to what contact information you are able to secure. Email contact is preferred by the majority of those in the media.

How to Grab Attention

The subject line of your email is extremely important.

The first 60 characters of any correspondence is your opportunity to capture attention.

Titles, such as “Top 10 Ways to Gain Media Exposure” or “Seven Ways to Capture Attention for Your Cause,” grab the attention of your reader.

Keep in mind the reader is always going to ask, “What’s in it for me?” Make sure your content is not just a sales piece, but an educational piece. The media wants to know what the consumer wants to know. If you are an advisor, you know what the hot topics are. Just pay attention to the questions and concerns of your clients.

If You Are Putting Together a News Release, Keep These Points in Mind:

  • Lead with an attention grabbing hook to gain interest.
  • Provide the basics: who, what, when, where, why, and how.
  • Include specifics, such as, the name, date, location, and hours of the event.
  • Spell names of people or places correctly.
  • State the fact or conclusion first, then provide the data supporting the fact.
  • In the second paragraph, include the name of the most important person involved.
  • Don’t use superlatives (best, fantastic).
  • Make sure the topic is human interest, not self-promotion, as the media does not want to print a promotional ad for you or your event.
  • Find news release templates online, including on the FPA National website.
  • Include photos if possible.
  • Offer your media partner an exclusive, as this is appealing to them.
  • Do not attach documents, as the media employs sensitive spam filters.
  • Email is the preferred contact method, followed by LinkedIn, Twitter, or phone.

Be a Resource to the Media

Email the media contact with the story idea and your initial thoughts. If possible, refer to a related article they have already written.

Try to have one good tip or topic every other week to keep in front of your media connection. FPA National provides two media ready articles each month.

Employ polite persistence. If you don’t receive a response, follow up with a phone call that same day. If there is no response or interest, move on to the next contact on your list.

Review the editorial calendar to find out when their deadline is. Don’t contact them when they are on deadline.


For the past 16 years, Teresa Riccobuono has been a professional organizer, business consultant, and practice-management specialist to the financial services industry, helping advisors bridge the gap between their existing and their ideal financial planning practice. She is a member of the board of directors of the FPA of the East Bay and is currently the co-chair of the Public Relations committee.

Lori Luckenbach is co-chair of the Public Relations committee of the FPA of the East Bay. She is the community outreach representative for Eldercare Services. Lori is a graduate of UC Berkeley.

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