The world of off-road racing is more popular than ever, and with that comes added press and media attention. But you don’t have to be Kailub Russell or Walker Fowler to get in the newspaper. In fact, most local newspapers prefer to cover racers from their own area, regardless of their results.
Want to see your name in the local paper? Help your sponsors? Impress your girl or boyfriend, wife, husband or kids? 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 helps you build a ready-made story for your local paper. Any reporter will be able to use this with minimal effort, and reporters like it when you do the hard work for them! Use the tips below to increase your chances of getting the story published.
Download the attached press release and fill in the blanks with your information - your name, hometown, age, sponsors, etc. Feel free to add additional info or paragraphs on yourself. The more info on the local racer (you) the better.
If there is a GNCC race near your hometown, include the race specifics as well. You may even want to reach out to the sports reporter and invite them to the race.
However, the story doesn’t have to be limited to your local race. If you’re a top contender in your class, your local newspaper may be interested in covering your results throughout the season or doing a story on you regardless of where the races are held. Find something unique and interesting about yourself that may be of interest to your local community. Feel free to add additional content or paragraphs - the more info about yourself the better.
When you submit your release, use a proper opener and closer in your email, such as “Dear (such and such)” and “Sincerely.”
Include your contact information (phone number and email) in case the reporter needs to follow up for additional information. Often a reporter will call our office looking for information on a racer. You’re the best source of info on yourself, so make it clear how they can get in touch with you.
Finally, make sure to proof read your work and use spell-check before you send it out, or if you prefer, you can forward it to us and we can give it a once-over for you as a double check. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOP TIPS TO HELP GET YOUR STORY PUBLISHED
- Contact the newspaper ahead of time, ask for the Sports Desk (best to call after 2 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.
- Be prepared to send two pictures of yourself - one action shot of you riding your bike (your very, very best, clearest picture), and one 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 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 in person to the reporter that's doing your story. 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!
- Chances are sports reporters don't know a lot about motorcycles or ATVs. Ask the reporter if he/she has ever ridden a dirt bike or a street bike. If they say "Oh, a long time ago" ask them if they remember how much fun it was. Let them share their experience with you. This is a quick and easy way to get personable with one other. Chances are they'll remember how fun it was and this will help them relate better to what you're doing and how big of a deal it is for you to race in the largest off-road series in America.
- Local media cover lots of stories on ‘state champion’ athletes from high school 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 this far. Also, let the reporter know that while you like to play baseball, basketball, football, hockey (or whatever other sport), you chose to compete in off-road racing because... (tell the reporter your feelings on this).
- Use this as a learning experience. It won't be easy. You might fumble on your words, forget stuff and have to reach back out to the reporter, or draw a blank when you go to talk, but 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 kid sure is cool!"
So that's it! Go sell yourself and be proud of your accomplishments. Your family, friends, fans and sponsors will love you for it! Email us the published article at email@example.com or bring a copy with you to the races, and we will post it on our social media and include it in Quick Fill just to show everyone how cool you are.