How to Get a Story About You or Your Business in USA Today

I am often asked by clients to target USA Today for media coverage, and with good reason: USA Today coverage can have a significant impact on businesses and organizations. Here's why:

1. Circulation of USA Today: USA Today is the largest U.S. daily newspaper, with a Monday through Thursday circulation of over two million, and a Friday circulation of 2.7 million.

2. Additional Media Coverage Resulting from a Story in USA Today: Many media outlets -- TV in particular -- follow USA Today stories closely and do TV segments based on USA Today articles. So, if you're featured in USA Today, there's a good chance you'll receive coverage in other media outlets.

What are USA Today journalists looking for?

Here are some tips:

1. Hop on the hot news story. Sometimes, there's one story that the news is focusing on heavily (Hurricane Katrina, the Runaway Bride, etc.). Many times there are ways for your business to tie into the news of the day, which is pretty much all the media wants to cover. For instance, Hurricane Katrina is a hot news story at the time of this writing. In a USA Today story on gas prices related to Hurricane Katrina, a small business, gasbuddy.com, was quoted. In a story related to the financial impact of Katrina, a small business, Stone & Youngberg, a firm that deals in municipal securities, was included as a source.

2. Tie your business or organization into a current trend. USA Today rarely profiles individual businesses or organizations. But they will often include you in a larger trend story. For instance, if you make diamond jewelry for babies, you may not get your own business profile, but you may be included in a larger trend story about companies that offer "Baby Bling," according to Lifestyle Editor Kim Willis.

3. Offer several sources, notes Small Business Reporter Jim Hopkins. You may have a great trend idea, but if it's hard for the reporters to find sources, the story idea may die. Offering sources is one way to make the story happen -- and you can control the names you give.

So if you are looking for great media coverage, consider focusing on USA Today.

Copyright 2005 ? Margie Fisher

Margie Fisher is president of Margie Fisher Public Relations. This information was excerpted from her Special Report "How To Get a Story About You or Your Business in USA Today," available at http://www.margiefisher.com. You can also learn about her Pay for Results Publicity Program? and her free biweekly PRactical P.R. newsletter at http://www.margiefisher.com.

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