Publicizing News and the New CEDAM Media List

This first part of this post introduces the CEDAM media list and explains how to use it effectively. The second part covers basics about publicizing your organization’s news.

Using the CEDAM Media List

Download the media list:
The new CEDAM media list is available for CEDAM members to download at Get Media List and Media Tools. For help logging in, please click here. The media list is an Excel spreadsheet. If you do not have Excel, download Excel Viewer for free to view the media list.

About the media list:
In addition to general contact information such as email, phone and mail addresses, the CEDAM media list also notes the coverage areas for each media outlet as well as website, Facebook and Twitter information. Note that both news tips and press releases can be submitted to any contact with “news tips” in the job title.

At the bottom of the Excel sheet there are two tabs. One tab is for “general” news about anything. The other tab is for policy and government news. If you are sending news related to policy or government, contact the people from the Policy-Govt tab in addition to those in the General tab.

Submit statewide or national news:
If your news is either relevant to Michigan as a whole or is national news, email/contact everyone on the general media list. If your Michigan or national topic is also related to policy or government, add the contacts from the Policy-Govt tab.

Submit local news:
You can find what media covers your community by pressing CTRL+F (command+F on MAC) and searching for the name of your county, the name of your city or “Michigan” (to find places with Michigan, Northern Michigan or Mid-Michigan listed in their coverage area).

Submit policy or government related news:
Contact everyone in the General tab and everyone in the Policy-Govt tab.

Why is : ) next to a company name?
This means we know the contact or have worked with them recently.


What is a media list?
A media list is a database of media contacts. Media lists are an excellent way to send news, press releases, event information, job postings and volunteer opportunities to news and media outlets. One of the benefits of CEDAM membership is access to the CEDAM statewide media list, which will give you contact information and email addresses for state and local media.

To whom do I send my news?
Generally, you send news to an editor or producer. If you know which reporter covers the topic you are promoting, you may also send news to them. Finally, most media outlets have a general email for news tips and press releases. Send your news to all of the above if possible, because you never know who will pick up your story!

How do I write a press/news release?
The following is a quick list of items every press release should have. For a detailed walkthrough, please see this post.

  • Your organization’s logo or name
  • Contact information and cell phone number for the person the media should go to for more information
  • A headline/hook
  • The date and usually the originating city of the press release
  • Main text, with most important information first
  • A quote from the lead individual or expert in the story
  • ### or -30- at the end of the release
  • A short statement about your organization and what it does
  • Proofreading by someone else

Here is an example of a CEDAM press release (PDF).
Here is an example of a Center for Community Progress press release (PDF).

What is a media advisory?
A media advisory is an invitation to the media to a press conference or event you are hosting that you want them to attend and cover. A media advisory is not the same as a press release. A press release provides all the information the media needs to write a complete article. A media advisory, on the other hand, only gives a “teaser” of what will be at the press conference: enough to get the media interested, but not enough to write a full story without attending.

What is a news tip?
If you do not have time to create a formal press release, you can still send your story to the media via a news tip. A news tip is a quick summary or “news pitch” the media can follow up on if they are interested. Remember to include your contact information.

Can I use social media to send news to the media?
Yes! You can post news directly on the media outlet’s Facebook page, tag the media in a Facebook post or tweet news to them on Twitter. Of course, it is a very good idea to follow up your social media messaging with an actual email, phone call or fax to that media outlet.

What are some other ways to publicize my organization’s news?

  • Consider writing an Op-Ed. Click here for a great post on how to do that as a nonprofit.
  • Ask an individual or organization that has a blog if you can write a guest post about your news, event, story or experience.
  • Post your news on social media.
  • Keep a collection of your news and press releases somewhere on your website.