Lessons From A Journalist: How To Secure Media Coverage

By Tiara Ogabang

As a professional journalist for some years, I wanted to take the time to let you all know the best ways to go about asking journalists to interview you and write about you. I have been interested in writing for newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and other media outlets. Still, I was previously just one of many hopefuls who posted a few writing samples and got the job based on their journalistic integrity.

I don’t think you can take a good idea floating around the Internet and apply it to the real world. Before you do any “manual labor” and try to convince the media that you are worthy, it is essential that you first look at the possibility of using social media to do some “manual labor” for yourself.

In my past writing for the media, I have learned that sometimes journalists will request that you write for them (or the company they represent), but they will usually not contact you directly. They will contact a friend who works at another media outlet, and they will then pass on the request to you.

Contacting an online site and approaching a radio station

Contacting an online site and approaching a radio station

Another possibility for you would be to contact one of the major online news sites and ask them to cover your story for free. You can either upload a photo of you and a few paragraphs, and they will use a photo and a few paragraphs to feature your story.

One of the sites I tried this with was Mail Online. I asked them to write about my book, and they did that for me.

If you live in North America, you should contact local television and radio stations. The easiest way to do this would be to determine which journalists are on the morning and evening news.

You can also use your local TV guide and check to see if there is a show that is listing every day. Take note of the times that the show is broadcast.

You can then approach the news reporter for the show and ask him/her to interview you for a show segment. You can also ask the station if they will be doing an interview segment on something they are covering.

In my area, the morning news program runs from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. When I contacted the local radio station, the people who do the morning news program do not work on the weekends.

If the segment goes well and asks you back for another segment, they will have you back on the show again. The best thing you can do is dress like you normally do and try to portray yourself as the average, down-to-earth person.

If the person interviewing you asks you about your book or how long you have been writing, then be prepared to mention it. When the people doing the segment are done interviewing you, ask them if they have time to do a little research on the Internet for your answer.

Call government offices

Call government offices

You can do the other “manual labor” for yourself to contact the local police department, city hall, or another government office. In your area, the local police department and city hall probably have contact information.

Call up and ask if they would like to interview about your book or the book’s content. The longer you have been writing, the better.

You can ask for a few minutes on the morning news program.

You can also call up a radio station and request that they play a story about your book and the book’s contents.

Getting press and reviews from other bloggers

Here’s what you can do for yourself.

Contact a couple of bloggers that like to review books.

If your book is available on Kindle, then you can do this by going to the blogger’s author page on their site.

Contact them personally.

“I’d love to do a review of my book. Please let me know when you are going to be posting one.”

If the blogger is not willing to do a review, then find someone else.

Start asking local bookstores and internet book sites for reviews.

Now that you have several blogs that are willing to give your book a review, you can start to work on getting reviews from other bookstores and internet book sites.

Before you get these reviews, it’s a good idea to make sure that they will be truthful and honest, which means asking the bookstores and internet book sites to do an honest review. Most of these sites will also ask for an honest review and give you a chance to contact the book's author was terrible.

In some cases, it is also a good idea to make sure that you agree with some of their company policies. Most booksellers don’t like to put a book that has never been reviewed into the store unless the author has reached out and asked them to do so.

Call the newspaper, TV stations, or local radio stations to ask if they have any stories or information that they can use about your book. Most of the local newspapers have email contact addresses.

Get on their mailing lists.

Get on their mailing lists

If the papers or TV stations have a mailing list, they probably have an email address, which means that you can sign up for their mailing lists. You can contact them at the address listed in the publication.

The newspaper usually has their websites listed in their directory. If they have a bookstore listed, then you can email them.

The TV stations usually have their websites listed. If you want a TV station to feature your book, you need to get a phone interview or get an invitation to go on their website to view a show.

For a podcast, radio show, or audiobook, you will also need an invitation from them, usually based on a pre-interview.

You can get on the mailing lists and get sent updates about what they are doing for promotions for you and your book.


Just as journalists seek to create content that people can’t get anywhere else and caters to that kind of niche, you should be doing the same thing and ensuring you are writing things that are just a little bit out of the norm. Otherwise, no-one will be interested in what you have to say.