David Leonhardt's "secret" news release file"

If you want to know what a good news release looks like, you've come to the right place. Here is my file of the top ten news releases I've written. Before we go ahead, I just want to share a few notes with you.

First, I've included a delicious bonus at the end. (Don't you just love it when you get more than you expected?) It's not a news release. In fact, it's an "un-news release". Or a "news unreleased". Actually, it is several news releases. You'll just have to read it.

Second, this is not completely my top ten news release list. I think I scored some great ones when I was with the Canadian Automobile Association in Ottawa, but I can't find them now. And when I was with a federal cabinet minister, but I seem to have lost many of them. And I believe I wrote a very effective release when I was with the Ottawa-Carleton Greenprint Committee ... and it just might be under this mess somewhere.

Yes, these are "news releases" not "press releases". Even if you are in Cuba, where the press is not free, you do not have the power to release the press. However, you do have the power to release the news, so please do. Besides, you want to catch the interest of broadcast media, too, not just the press. OK, enough of my pet peeve. :)

Let me also state that a news release is no substitute for carefully targeting a pitch to a reporter, but when you have news with broad appeal that has to go far and fast, there is nothing like a news release.

Enjoy my secret files.
signed by The Happy Guy
David Leonhardt
The Happy Guy

For live advice on free publicity:

CLICK HERE

"The way to happiness
is through dirty diapers"

The 2003 Happy Guy Award goes to the environment.

CHESTERVILLE, January 9, 2003 – Dirty diapers earn the 2003 Happy Guy Award, thanks to the town of Santa Clarita, California, and Knowaste Inc. of New York, and their commitment to the environment.

The Happy Guy Award is bestowed upon a project that does something very small to pave the way to happiness, but which could have a major impact. The town of Santa Clarita is piloting a dirty diaper recycling project with 500 participating families. The recycled diapers will be turned into wallpaper, roof shingles and other useful products, saving the burden on the environment of breaking down the waste over several hundred years.

"As a father of a toddler, I personally find this project important," says David Leonhardt, The Happy Guy. "This is a massive problem stemming from a very specific demographic group. Let's fix it."

Leonhardt says that he is eager to find this pilot project taking root across North America, and he hopes the award will help spread the word. "The way to happiness as a society, and indeed our very survival, depends in part on improving the way we treat Mother Nature."

The Happy Guy Award will be formally announced in "Your Daily Dose of Happiness" on January 13. The free ezine provides subscribers self-help ideas, quotes on happiness and motivational messages for self-actualization.

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NOTES

The first thing I hope you notice about this news release is that it is short.

Get used to it, because you'll be stuck wading through ten short news releases. Sigh. Imagine how miserable the poor assignment editor is to receive a short news release that takes almost no time to read. (That's sarcasm, in case you didn't recognize it.)

Next, notice that this news release is about news. It is not about my book. It is not even about my free ezine. An award has been handed out, and that is news.

Grounding vehicles for 407 bills
borders on extortion

TORONTO, December 2, 1999 – CAA Ontario is calling on the provincial government to stop denying vehicle permit renewals to motorists disputing bills with the private Highway 407/ETR consortium.

Describing the government’s actions as bordering on extortion, CAA Ontario spokesman David Leonhardt says, "Every citizen should have the right to contest a bill he feels is unjustified without fear of being penalized for the action."

"It is a basic tenet of law that a person is innocent until proven guilty," Leonhardt says. "For the government to withhold a person’s mobility, which can lead to financial hardship in some cases, until he agrees to pay a disputed charge to a private company is unethical."

Leonhardt says there are many legitimate reasons why people may not have paid their bills to Highway 407/ETR:

  • the person never used Highway 407;
  • the distance traveled was billed inaccurately;
  • a bill never arrived in the mail;
  • the bill came late or while the person was out of the country;
  • the person does not accept the $30 collection fee on, for example, a $3.65 toll (By way of comparison, Revenue Canada charges only a five-per-cent late-filing fee.);
  • the person is unable to reach Highway 407/ETR to question a charge;
  • or the bill went to a wrong address.
"We are puzzled as to why the government is acting as a collection agency for the Spain/Quebec consortium, and painting all honest Ontario citizens with presumed guilt," Leonhardt says. "Safe in the knowledge that the Ministry of Transportation will collect all bills, whether legitimate or not, Highway 407/ETR can ignore questions and complaints, and thereby secure a steady flow of cash."

CAA Ontario (www.caaontario.net) is the federation of Ontario auto clubs, representing 1.8 million motorists and their families. It is part of the 4.2-million-member Canadian Automobile Association.

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NOTES

What do you see in the first paragraph? A complete story. That is vital if you hope to get picked up beyond the features pages. If a small newspaper has just a tiny corner, it can still fit you in.

Have you also noticed that there is no corporate description in that first paragraph? Save it for the end; the media wants news, not egos and puff.

This news release was not part of the annual plan. But with angry motorists beating down our doors, we had to show publicly how hard we were fighting for them. Sometimes a news release is about positioning and establishing a reputation with your target market, not about your company or product.

By the way, extortion is not the best word to use in a headline. It might get you some ink, but it might also get you into trouble. In this case, the mood of the public was such that it was appropriate.

Want your news release to be professionally edited for just $50? CLICK HERE. (48 hour weekday* service – often faster – or you don't pay.)
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CAA welcomes Drive Clean news
Both consumers and the environment win

TORONTO, August 30, 2001 – Both consumers and the environment will benefit from revisions to the Drive Clean program announced today, says CAA Ontario.

“Expanding the program to places like Ottawa, Chatham and Kingston will reduce the number of high-polluting cars in Ontario,” says CAA Ontario spokesman David Leonhardt. “We believe in properly maintained emissions systems. If it’s the right thing to do in one place, it’s the right thing to do across the province.” He added that public education and awareness will be critical in these regions where people are unfamiliar with Drive Clean.

Leonhardt also praises the extension of the pass certificate. Although regular inspections are required every two years, the pass certificate is valid for just six months. So if someone buys a used vehicle two months after its inspection, and that person’s birthday is five months later (seven months after the inspection), the vehicle would come due for inspection twice in just seven months.

“Our members were calling. They asked why they had to get their vehicles inspected twice in the same year. It just doesn’t make sense to them,” Leonhardt says. “We asked the government to put an end to the twice-in-the-same-year scenario, so we are very pleased that pass certificates will be valid for twelve months.

CAA Ontario was an early supporter of a vehicle emissions inspection program for Ontario as part of a broad program to clean the air. A 2000 analysis of emissions data for Toronto revealed that private passenger vehicles account for about 20% of local smog-forming emissions, half of which comes from local emissions. “If every car on Ontario roads would disappear tomorrow, 90 percent of our smog would remain,” Leonhardt says. “We want to drive cleaner cars. But if clean air is the ultimate goal, finger-pointing at motorists will only distract us from the many other sources of air pollution that also need to be cleaned up.”

CAA Ontario (www.caaontario.net) is the federation of Ontario auto clubs, representing 1.8 million motorists and their families. It is part of the 4.2-million-member Canadian Automobile Association.

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NOTES

Of course, if you get nasty about all the evils of the world, it helps to balance things out by sending out positive news releases praising great things that are happening.

In this case, we were also delivering a gentle brag about our success in lobbying, and positioning ourselves on the side of the environment (a tough task for an association of motorists).

By the way, every business can be promoted offline through the media, and every business can be promoted online through the search engines. Unfortunately there is a lot of false and outdated information on search engines floating about. If you want up-to-date, accurate search engine advice, CLICK HERE.

Big trucks less safe
than trucking industry claims

Tractor-trailers 400 percent over represented in fatal crashes

TORONTO, July 20, 2001 – Despite recent statements from the trucking industry, Ministry of Transportation figures show that tractor-trailers are much more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than cars, says CAA Ontario. Ministry of Transportation figures reveal that just 1.9 percent of vehicles are tractor-trailers … but they account for 7.4 percent of vehicles involved in fatal crashes.

“Motorists are slightly more likely to be involved in a collision than trucks, but many motorist collisions are just fender benders,” says CAA spokesman David Leonhardt. “Tractor-trailers are clearly much, much more dangerous, and it is irresponsible for the trucking association to try to whitewash that danger.”

In 1999, “passenger vehicles” (passenger cars and passenger vans) accounted for 75.2 percent of registered vehicles, but only 65.6 percent of vehicles involved in a fatal crash were passenger vehicles. In the same year, “commercial vehicles” (including tractor-trailers, straight trucks, pick-up trucks, delivery vans, ambulances, fire trucks and snow plows) accounted for 15.6 percent of registered vehicles, but 26.8 percent of vehicles involved in a fatal crash were commercial vehicles.

“Many truck drivers are among Ontario’s best drivers. They almost never drink and drive. Many have trained well. They are aware of the awesome power of their vehicles. They play it safe and often come to the rescue of motorists,” Leonhardt says. “But we also know how dangerous such a heavy, hard to control vehicle can be, especially in the hands of a driver being pushed to drive up to 14 hours day after day and meet sometimes impossible delivery schedules even when it’s raining or snowing.” He suggests that motorists learn how to share the road safely with trucks and not underestimate the danger tractor-trailers pose.

CAA Ontario (www.caaontario.net) is the federation of Ontario auto clubs, representing 1.8 million motorists and their families. It is part of the 4.2-million-member Canadian Automobile Association.

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NOTES

What happens when you or your industry are under attack? If you goofed, come out and admit it ASAP and explain exactly how you will rectify the situation.

Otherwise, silence is usually best. But when your competition is using the media to make you look weak, it doesn't hurt to use the media to correct whatever false information is being distributed.

Notice how we were careful not to attack truck drivers, just the trucking industry.

The headline, by the way, is super clear. There is no clever pun or witty saying for editors to unravel. An editor takes less than two seconds to decide whether to read a news release. A witty title is usually a one-way ticket to the garbage can.

Government implements
CAA Ontario's Highway 401 recommendations

TORONTO, September 22, 2000 – Much-needed median barriers in Essex County will make Highway 401 safer, says CAA Ontario. Erecting median barriers from Windsor to London was a key recommendation the auto club made last year to improve safety on heavily-traveled Highway 401.

"We asked for fully-paved shoulders with rumble strips, a median barrier and an additional lane in each direction. We've also asked for more rest stops," says CAA Ontario spokesman David Leonhardt. "Little by little, the government is implementing CAA Ontario's recommendations."

Leonhardt estimates that when current government commitments are complete, CAA Ontario's most pressing concern of paving the shoulders will be mostly complete, and its second most pressing concern to erect median barriers will be one-third complete.

"This is good news. As long as the government continues to make progress on Highway 401 safety, we are pleased. We will keep pressing for additional improvements, to ensure the progress continues," Leonhardt says.

Leonhardt says the government has still to address the issues of the third lane and additional rest stops, as well as improvements to driver education that CAA Ontario recommended at the Windsor inquest into the 1999 fog crash. He noted that the government's efforts to arrange reciprocal agreements on conviction data with other jurisdictions, also recommended at the inquest, is encouraging.

CAA Ontario (www.caaontario.net) is the federation of Ontario auto clubs, representing 1.8 million motorists and their families. It is part of the 4.2-million-member Canadian Automobile Association.

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NOTES

Let's look at some of the elements here.

First, we are following up on our own news, not just someone else's. In fact, this was probably the biggest news project I ever worked on. We kept this story on the front pages of southern Ontario newspapers for several months and were constantly doing national TV and radio interviews.

So a year later, here we are providing an update.

Notice also that we take credit for doing something good. Not only does that position us as the good guys, but as successful and therefore worthy of one's membership.

See how short the whole news release is? In fact, the entire story is summarized in the first paragraph. Every news release should be written like that.

Triple dipping on Highway 403?
CAA Ontario says "No" to toll lanes

TORONTO, April 29, 2002– – The following letter has just been sent to Transportation Minister Norm Sterling in response to reports that the Province may be considering tolls on Highway 403 and other highways in the province.

Hon. Norm Sterling, MPP
Minister of Transportation
Ferguson Block, 3rd Floor
77 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, ON
M7A 1Z8

Dear Minister:

I am writing today to express CAA Ontario’s concern about published reports that the government may be considering placing tolls on existing highways to pay for expanded capacity.

When it comes to taxing motorists, the Province is already double-dipping. It takes from road users almost $4 billion annually, more than twice the $1.5 billion it spends on roads and transportation. The government has the funds needed to make Ontario’s the best roads in the world without taking any more in the form of tolls or additional gas taxes. Let’s not start triple-dipping.

We understand you are also receiving letters of concern from the Ontario Trucking Association and the Ontario Motor Coach Association, requesting a stakeholder meeting with you on this issue, and we would welcome a joint meeting.

CAA Ontario (www.caaontario.net) is the federation of Ontario auto clubs, representing 1.8 million motorists and their families. It is part of the 4.2-million-member Canadian Automobile Association.

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NOTES

This is different. Why did I just send a copy of the letter instead of writing a news release about it? Because I'm lazy, perhaps? Well, yes, but also because I want to be more effective.

Which of these do you think an editor will consider more newsworthy?

  • ABC Inc speaks to the media.
  • ABC Inc speaks to the government.

The media likes to see itself as an independent observer. It does not get involved in the news, except on specific occasions when it decides to make news.

The letter is like a demonstration of speaking to the government. A news release would be just like speaking to the media, and not quite as newsworthy.

SURVEY: Family, Altruism and Faith
Define Happiness

CHESTERVILLE, July 28, 2003 – Family and altruism head popular definitions of happiness, according to a recent survey sponsored by "Your Daily Dose of Happiness".

"Surprisingly, just 4% of respondents mentioned health as part of their definition of happiness," says the newsletter's publisher, David Leonhardt. "Family was mentioned by 17% and altruism was invoked by 16%"

In response to an open-ended question, subscribers in 18 countries mentioned the following elements in their definitions of happiness:

  • Family (17%)
  • Altruism (16%)
  • Choice (14%) – including wanting what you have, making the best of things, etc.
  • Faith (14%)
  • Love (11%)
  • Self-esteem (10%)
  • Nature (10%)
  • Inner Peace (8%)
  • Friendship (7%)
  • Smile (7%)
  • Success (5%)
  • Appreciation (4%)
  • Health (4%)
  • Money (3%)
  • Other (22%)

    The survey was part of a contest, whereby the most creatively expressed variety of definitions was published at www.thehappyguy.com/define-happiness.html .

    David Leonhardt is author of Climb your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness and The Get Happy Workbook, as well as publisher of the Your Daily Dose of Happiness.

    - 30 -

    NOTES

    A survey is always newsworthy.

    Actually, the best thing about this news release is not even visible. I speak of customization. To the religion reporters, I send a copy with the headline: "Survey: Faith and family are key to happiness."

    To the health reporters: "Survey: Happiness is not healthy."

    To business reporters: "Survey: Money is not the root of all happiness."

    Customization is key. As with any other venture, know your customers and speak directly to them.

    Time to consider conditional licensing
    Base licensing on ability, not on age

    TORONTO, March 7, 2002 – Conditional driver licensing is needed to end legal and safety gaps reported yesterday at a coroner’s inquest, CAA Ontario says. The Ontario Medical Association revealed that doctors often do not report patients who might not be fit to drive, as CAA Ontario has been hearing anecdotally.

    “We’ve talked with the government about conditional licensing, but it has yet to emerge on the legislative agenda,” says CAA Ontario spokesman David Leonhardt. “The Highway Traffic Act is clear that physicians must report any condition that makes a patient unfit to drive safely, but regulations leave ministry officials no flexibility when acting on that information. Physicians must feel comfortable that when they report a particular condition, their patients will retain the mobility they deserve.”

    Leonhardt cautions that one size does not fit all. Each person ages differently, with some physical and cognitive faculties deteriorating faster than others in one person, but slower in another. CAA Ontario believes that physicians are an important part of the process, because their knowledge and judgment can best detect when particular faculties begin to get weak.

    Leonhardt says it is time for the provincial government to implement some form of conditional licensing. “What physician wants to remove all mobility from his patient of 30 years, when he knows the patient can still drive safely at low speeds? Or in daylight? Or on familiar roads in the neighbourhood? There has to be some way for the physician to tell the government, ‘This person is safe to drive at moderate speeds, but his reflexes are slowing’ and the government then to decide if a condition should be placed on his license, such as no driving on 400-series highways, for example. ”

    CAA Ontario (www.caaontario.net) is the federation of Ontario auto clubs, representing 1.8 million motorists and their families. It is part of the 4.2-million-member Canadian Automobile Association.

    - 30 -

    NOTES

    You will rarely make news. Your best bet is to jump in and piggyback on someone else's news – as we did here with the Ontario Medical Association.

    We also added a sub-head. In fact, half of the news releases here feature sub-heads. These are required to provide added information specifically to entice editors to read our lead paragraph.

    All this great advice just might land you an interview. Will you know what to say? How to dress? What words to avoid? We offer a basic training video: CLICK-HERE.

    SARS can be beaten with a positive attitude

    CHESTERVILLE, April 9, 2003 – We can beat SARS (severe-acute respiratory syndrome) by reducing stress, increasing self-worth and maintaining a positive attitude, says a prominent happiness specialist.

    "Medicine is not the only tool we have to fight diseases like SARS," says David Leonhardt, also known as The Happy Guy. "It is important to follow the best medical advice doctors can offer, but it is also important to prepare our minds and spirits to withstand disease."

    Leonhardt says that happy people tend to fend off diseases better than unhappy people. "Our attitude can predict our success in most things, even in fighting disease," he adds.

    Top tips for keeping SARS away

    Leonhardt's top tips for keeping SARS and other diseases away:

    Don't panic. Let the doctors worry about the big picture, while you follow their advice to protect yourself and those you care about. At best, panicking will not prevent catching SARS. At worst it will actually make you more vulnerable by increasing your stress level.

    Reduce stress. Stress weakens the body's immune system, so reducing stress makes us less vulnerable to disease. Avoiding stressful situations, enjoying a good belly-laugh, watching light and humorous television, singing with the radio, practicing yoga or meditation and listening to relaxation tapes are just a few ways to reduce stress. Leonhardt suggests many more in his book Climb your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness.

    Get plenty of sleep. A tired body and a tired spirit are sitting ducks for a disease like SARS. Get plenty of sleep to keep both body and spirits strong.

    Pray. Yes, prayer makes us stronger. Whatever your concept of God, it is always easier to fight off disease when we feel less alone.

    Believe. Believe that you will win. Often it has been observed that the difference between survival and death is a will to live, a positive belief that you can beat the disease.

    Don't act racist. Just because SARS originated in China does not mean that everybody of Chinese ancestry carries the virus. Creating animosity is just another way of increasing stress.

    David Leonhardt is author of Climb your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness and The Get Happy Workbook, as well as publisher of the electronic newsletter Your Daily Dose of Happiness.

    - 30 -

    NOTES

    Did I mention jumping on somebody else's news? This is all about context. When people are worrying about SARS, I offered some practical tips to help people get a handle on the situation. This is always a winning approach. TV and radio loved this.

    War and happiness can co-exist

    CHESTERVILLE, March 27, 2003 – War is hell, but we can still find happiness in wartime, says a prominent happiness specialist.

    "War and happiness are incompatible." says David Leonhardt, also known as The Happy Guy. "But we can and should find happiness outside the war. There will be moments to mourn – may God grant that they be few – but we should seek out happiness at other times during the war."

    Leonhardt says we can take steps to keep our spirits up and take control of our own well-being during times of uncertainty and crisis. "There are hundreds of little habits that can help us feel happier, and some are particularly useful during times of uncertainty," he adds.

    Top tips for keeping happy in wartime

    Leonhardt's top tips for keeping our spirits up in wartime:

    Don't play the "play-by-play" game. It is important to keep abreast of how events are unfolding, but gluing yourself to TV war coverage is no recipe for happiness. (Ever notice how carried away we can get by the play-by-play at a simple football or basketball game?) In fact, the more war coverage you watch, the more you should watch something de-stressing, such as comedy, or escapist, such as a fantasy show, or inspiring, such as a religious program.

    Count your blessings. Despite overwhelming events, people today enjoy more comforts, more things, more opportunity and more knowledge than ever before. Taking time to appreciate those things brings both comfort and a positive perspective. For starters, be grateful you do not live in Iraq. If war is depressing in other parts of the world, imagine living in Iraq.

    Have faith. Religion is a great comfort to people in times like these. Many people who do not practice a faith believe in God, and this is an ideal time to seek out one's spiritual side.

    Smile at strangers and friends alike. A smile is an instant mood-booster, both for the person smiling and for everyone else around. When you smile at someone, you will likely elicit a smile back from her. Your smile helps her, her return smile helps you. Smiles on people around us put a comforting face on what might otherwise seem like a scary world.

    Learn a new skill. Learning a new hobby or job skill adds excitement, a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of control. The war may be outside our control, but learning a new skill puts us back in the driver's seat. If it means taking a class, it also provides positive social interactions with other people who are feeling upbeat . . . and that can boost everyone's mood.

    Study history. You don't have to become a scholar to notice that history is full of wars, famine, daily hardship and suppression. But it is also full of wonder, perseverance, great deeds and recovery to give us hope. Even if events around us seem bleak at the moment, history shows that they will not always be that way.

    Volunteer. War and terrorism give us the sense that lots of bad things are happening to the world, and we are powerless to make good things take their place. Volunteering at a local animal shelter, seniors home or food bank gives us back the power to make our world a better place. It gives us something to optimistic about and gives us a positive role to play.

    David Leonhardt is author of Climb your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness and The Get Happy Workbook, as well as publisher of the electronic newsletter Your Daily Dose of Happiness.

    - 30 -

    NOTES

    SARS and war seemed to be happening all at once. Again, jump on the news and insert your comment. Providing practical tips is always a great way to get media coverage.

    OK, I told you I would include a bonus. Here it is.

    Make front page news by NOT inviting the media
    How I hit the front pages by keeping reporters away!

    Not a single reporter showed up at our media event. And we were thrilled.

    Not a single photographer showed up to capture the moment. And we were pleased as punch.

    Not a single newspaper knew about the event. And we received front page coverage in every one!

    You can make front page news by keeping the media away. But how did we do it? Here is the media relations plan we used:

    BACKGROUND: A few years ago, I was working for a politician. In fact, he was a Canadian Member of Parliament (MP). That was about the time that Canada Post decided not to deliver mail to homes in new developments. Instead, new homeowners had to pick up their mail at community "superboxes" near the end of their streets. After laying down big bucks for fancy new homes, people expected the same door-to-door service they were used to, and my MP took the heat . . . even though Canada Post was an arms-length organization of the government.

    GOAL: Our goal was to demonstrate that my MP cared, that he was on their side, that he was doing everything he could to help them.

    IDEA: One of the complaints the new residents had was that they were not receiving their junk mail (Go figure!), including weekly grocery specials and, by coincidence, my MP's mailing to constituents. This gave me an idea. Why not send my MP door to door to deliver his bulletin, explaining how he, too, was frustrated that Canada Post would not deliver his bulletin to them.

    CHALLENGE NUMBER ONE: But what about the majority of people who would not be home to see how my MP shared their gripes? We needed media coverage, so that everyone would read about it in their local newspaper.

    CHALLENGE NUMBER TWO: This is a juicy story for reporters. Imagine the headlines: "Resident sock it to MP". Imagine the photos of angry residents waving their fists in rage against Canada Post. My MP would not look good one bit. The media had to stay away. But how would we get media coverage?

    METHOD: We would have to report to the media "after the fact" that my MP had just gone door-to-door. We would have to supply everything the newspapers would need so that they have no need to recreate the event, search for angry residents to interview or ignore the story altogether.

    First I wrote a news release. OK, so it did not read quite like a typical news release. It read like a newspaper article. Actually, it read like five different newspaper articles, because I wrote a completely different story for each of the five newspapers in the area. To some degree, I was able to emulate each one's style.

    Next, we decided to provide photographs. We dressed my MP in a postal cap and had him carrying a postal bag. I snapped shots of him at doorways chatting with residents. This was just too "human interest" for any newspaper to ignore. Off to the one-hour photo developer, then we chose the five best shots and attached one to each of the news releases.

    Zoom, zoom. We hand delivered an envelope to each newspaper. The entire process took us just five hours from knocking on the first door.

    RESULT: Each newspaper had its own, unique, original story with its own, unique, original photo. This made the journalists happy. Four out of the five editors even used the headlines I provided! It also made readers, many of who received two or three of the newspapers, believe the media had been there in person . . . making the story all the more credible.

    Can you repeat this success? Yes. If you want to get great media coverage, but you are afraid the media will pick up a negative angle, this is the recipe to use:

    1. Position your business as you would like to be seen.
    2. Find a way to demonstrate your position or characteristic.
    3. Write the story for each newspaper as the newspaper would write it, but place it in the format of a news release.
    4. Get some great visuals, going for action or something with a twist, and ensure each newspaper has a unique photo.
    5. Let the newspapers know that no other media outlet has the same photograph.
    Of course, it is always best to invite the media to your event and serve donuts, but sometimes NOT inviting them is a better way to get not just "a" story, but the "right" story.