These calendars usually run free on local television channels and in community and ethnic newspapers, and they are ideal venues to tell your community about events and activities you are hosting on safe sleep promotion. A short email with the specific information about your event is usually enough to alert the calendar editors. A follow-up phone call doesn’t hurt, though!
You can incorporate graphics such as infographics, pie charts, line graphs and bar graphs into many types of media tools, and given the visual nature of most media today, this is a recommended approach. Graphics help clearly illustrate data related to safe infant sleep, and can often add value to the story for reporters, increasing the shareability of your content online. The more localized the graphics, the better. If you are reaching out to a Native American media outlet, a graphic featuring tribal art will likely capture the interest of the editor or reporter more readily.
Drop-in articles, also known as camera-ready news, are a cost-effective way to spread information about safe sleep promotion. A drop-in article is a type of news article that is written for direct insertion in community and weekly newspapers. If space is available, include a reader-friendly graphic to enhance the aesthetic of the article. Community newspapers and ethnic media outlets tend to have much smaller staffs than larger daily papers, sometimes only including an editor and several staff or contributing writers, so these papers are in need of editorials at times.
Don’t be afraid to focus on a wide range of outlets for drop-in distribution; the more places that receive your drop-in, the higher the odds of placement. Do be sure, however, that your article includes tips for safe sleeping, provides a resource where readers can find more information, is no more than 500 words, is written at no higher than the third-grade reading level and is written in the preferred language of the publications you are pitching.
Submit the article with a short cover note in an email or a letter that outlines the importance of safe infant sleep to the outlet’s readership. Your short cover note has to make the case for publication (see how to determine newsworthiness later in this toolkit).