Want to see your name in the local paper? Impress your sponsors? Impress your girlfriend? Then follow the simple directions below for creating your own press release and getting it published in your home newspaper. It’s a fill-in-the-blank form that anyone can use. Just make sure to use spell-check before you send it out!
How to Use the Press Release
The attached press release gives you a perfect start to a ready-made story any reporter can run with minimal effort. Reporters like it when you do the work for them! Use the tips below to increase your chances of getting the story published.
Take the attached press release and fill in the blanks with your information—your name, hometown, age, sponsors, etc-as well as the race-specific info for the round closest to your hometown. Feel free to add additional info or paragraphs on yourself, the more info on the local racer (you) the better.
Also, the story doesn’t have to be limited to your local race. If you’re a top contender in your class, your local paper may be interested in doing a story on you regardless of where the races are held.
Be sure to include your contact information when you submit the story. Often a reporter will call our office looking for information on the racer. You’re the best source of info on yourself, so make it clear how they can get in touch with you for more info (leave a phone number and email address).
Top Tips to Help Get Your Story Published
1.) Contact the newspaper ahead of time, ask for the Sports Desk (best to call after 4 p.m.), introduce yourself and politely ask, "Which person on your staff handles the local motorsports stories?" Note: If you have access to the Internet there's a chance you can find out this information without calling. However, it's best to call in order to establish a relationship with these people, as you'll be calling back to follow up on your story several times.
2.) Be prepared to send two pictures of yourself. One action shot of you riding your bike - your very, very best, clearest picture. And you'll also need a current headshot of yourself (a school picture will work fine). If possible, you should have these pictures scanned at a high resolution so you can email them to your local newspaper's sports department. Kinko’s can scan pictures and put them on a CD for you if you do not have access to a scanner. If you have to, have prints made and hand deliver them to the newspaper (you can do this with your CD as well). Call ahead of time and make sure the reporter you're working with is going to be there. This will give you a chance to introduce yourself to the reporter in person that's doing your story. Note: If the paper wants one of their photographers to take pictures of you for the story, MAKE SURE you adjust your schedule to fit theirs!
3.) Chances are sports reporters don't know a lot about motorcycles or ATVs. Ask the reporter if he or she's ever ridden a dirt bike or a street bike. If they say "Oh, a long time ago" ask them "Do you remember how much fun it was?" Have the reporter tell you of their experience. Chances are they'll remember how fun it was and this will help them relate better to what you're doing, and especially, how big of a deal it is for you to race in the largest off-road series in America.
4.) The newspaper does lots of stories on "State Champion" athletes from amateur sports like football, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, etc. Remember, you're competing in a national championship event, and you're one of the best in your age group/skill level. Make sure the reporter knows how tough of a sport off-road racing is, how hard you've practiced to get to where you're at now and the sacrifices your family has made in order for you to make it. Also, let the reporter know that you like to play baseball, basketball, football, hockey (or whatever sports outside GNCC you enjoy), but you chose to compete in GNCC because...(tell the reporter your feelings on this).
5.) Use this as a learning experience. It won't be easy. You might fumble on your words, forget stuff and have to call/email the reporter back, draw a blank when you go to talk...don't worry! It's up to the reporter to ask you questions to get you talking. Don't be shy. Act like you're sitting on your bike talking to your best buddy at your favorite track. Don't give "Yes" and "No" answers. Explain yourself. Make that reporter think when he hangs up, "Man, that sure is cool!"
So that’s it! Go sell yourself, and bring us a copy of the article when it comes out. We’ll post it on Quick Fill, and let everyone know what a media hound you are. Your sponsors will love you for it!