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Need advice - Newsworthiness and press releases etiquette

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SarahBernier, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. SarahBernier

    SarahBernier New Member

    I am so glad I found SportsJournalists.com because I can't think of a better place to find knowledgeable journalists to help me with my questions, if you are willing.

    The background:

    My husband (triple a player for the Yankees) and I have started a website that offers free tips and instruction for serious baseball players, and where the content in exclusively written by professional baseball players (we have hundreds of free articles, with more free video coming soon).

    I would like to send out the occasional press release, starting with an announcement about the launch (I was going to angle it something like this: BASEBALL INSTRUCTION – A CHANGE IN THE GAME
    Yankee player Doug Bernier is changing the way serious young baseball players get access to insider information, by creating a website where pro players share baseball tips and instruction for free.) Other types of announcements could be when we partner with other pro players like Matt Treanor or Juan Pierre to help young baseball players or do charity work.

    So here are the questions, and I'm grateful if you have time to weigh in:

    1.) Would news publications or blogs that deal mainly with what's happening in the MLB or MiLB be at all interested in this type of news? Or would submitting a press release to such focused outlets just be a bother to them?

    2.) Should I use a newswires service such as PRnews.com (paid) or PR-inside.com (free)? If so can you recommend one that might be more sports or baseball related?

    3.) Do you have any other advice for me or recommended resources? Doug is passionate about helping young players. We've worked very hard to create a high quality, free resource, and now want to spread the word about it. However, I am new to this, and don't want my inexperience to inconvenience my journalist friends.

    Sincere thanks for your time! - Sarah
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    For starters, if he is Triple A with the Yankees, that would be Scranton, right?

    I would think the Scranton paper might be interested in a story about the website and the plans.
  3. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    This sounds nitpicky but don't call him a Yankee player until he is with the Yankees. Use Yankees farmhand/prospect/something

    I get more pitches than I can count. As with the cover letters discussed elsewhere, you have to get my attention quickly. Convince me this would be beneficial to my readership.
  4. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    If the content is written by players or has video that includes players, find out where those players are from and what media outlets covered them when they were in high school and college. Approach those outlets and pitch it as a story that includes a hometown angle.

    As Moddy said, we all get a lot of pitches, and if we can quickly see a local angle it goes a long way. At my place, we recently did a story about a website that pitched us based on a local angle. Had they not taken that approach, we wouldn't have bothered.

    It's a pretty good time of year for this sort of thing. June and early July are as slow as it gets for a lot of sports departments.
  5. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I'd try to market the site through baseball camps. As for the Scranton paper, the team is a road team for the season since PNC Field is getting rebuilt, so I am not seeing much coverage besides gamers in the three dailies up there.
  6. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    Try to market specifically at first -- start with newspapers where he played high school or college ball, where he spent last season, minor-league sites. Find places that already know who he is, and if they write something, you'll have something to show other outlets that don't know him as well.
  7. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    And he's been in the majors -- four at-bats, no hits, doesn't matter -- so make sure you identify him as a former major-leaguer. Don't make him seem more than he is, but definitely mention -- Bernier, who played briefly for the Rockies in 2008, blah blah blah ...
  8. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Make sure you're sending it to the right person as well. For example, last week one group "carpet bombed" all the editors, the production manager and our Internet director with a press release on a fundraiser that just as easily could have gone to one editor.

    And also, one to a customer, please. As Moddy and the others have noted, we get a lot of pitches every day, and nothing gets a group on my naughty list quicker than seeing multiple copies of the same release in my inbox on a given day.
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