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Guide to Spreading the Spark to Local Media

Resources for the Spread the Spark PR Team

-- By The SparkPeople Team
Since we know so many of our members are passionate about helping us "Spread the Spark" (join the Spread the Spark PR Team) we thought we’d give you a hand and put together some general pointers for trying to contact your local media.

We really appreciate all the help that members have and will continue to provide us in "Spreading the Spark". Your efforts in telling your friends, family, co-workers and local media about SparkPeople help the company more than you may ever realize!

Make it Personal- When communicating with the press, you are encouraged to make comments about your experiences success while using the website. However, you should make clear to journalists that you are a website member/user and not affiliated with the company — and are therefore unable to answer specific questions about the Company’s mission and programs.

How to Find Contact Info- When trying to get in touch with local media, normally you can either call the news desk of the local outlet you’re trying to reach and inquire who myour letter should be addressed to or try to find this information in the paper or online.

There are also a few websites that may be able to help you find a list of local media outlets in your area as well as some contact information or a link to the outlet’s website – where you should be able to find contact information:
www.newslink.com
www.mondotimes.com

We're Here if You Need Help- If you ever feel like you are unable to answer questions or don’t feel comfortable being interviewed, please either direct them to our website for more information or have them get in touch with us directly at press@sparkpeople.com.

Best Times to Call- When placing a phone call to a reporter or sending an email, it is best to do so between the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Reporters are often on deadline in the late afternoon (meaning they have assignments due to their editors by 4:00 p.m.). A reporter will not want to speak to you or even be receptive after 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon. It is best to always ask a reporter if it is a good time for you to call and if they are on deadline – regardless of the time of day. This always helps to ease you into a conversation with the journalist.

Wrong Number?- You might reach a journalist who is not the appropriate contact, just ask for their help in finding the right person.

Follow-Up- Once you pitch a journalist with a story idea follow-up with the journalist two or three days later to find out if he or she will be able to do the story.

Deadlines...Argh!- Approaching deadlines stresses a lot of reporters. If they say they're too busy, ask if they would mind if you sent them an email with your story idea.

SparkPeople PR Contact Information:
press@sparkpeople.com
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