Andrew Lightman, managing editor of East of the River, Hill Rag and Mid City DC publications, recently shared valuable "DOs" and "DON'Ts" relating to getting coverage in those three publications. Lightman's tips were shared with a dozen East of the River nonprofits participating in a media training sponsored by the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington and funded by The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.
Do share compelling stories of things happening in Wards 6 (for Hill Rag), 7 and 8 (for East of the River) and in Logan Circle, Mount Vernon Triangle, Shaw, Bloomingdale and 14th/U (for Mid City DC). Lightman is interested in stories that are "hyper-local." He has 50 stringers ready to write those stories, which may run anywhere from 800 to 1,200 words. Let him know about stories relating to your staff and volunteers as well as your clients.
Do pitch your story by sending him an email that is no more than four sentences describing your idea. "The first two sentences should convince me why I should care," he said.
Do send him information about your event by the 15th of the month and he will add it to the publication's calendar in the next issue.
Do send him a short summary and photo of your event after the fact (by the 15th of the month) and he will run it in the next issue to "memorialize" the event.
Do consider writing a 400-word opinion piece but it must convey a strong opinion.
Don't call the day before your event and ask if he will cover it.
Don't call and ask if he got your press release.
Don't send faxes. Emailing or calling is best.