By Scot Kersgaard, JVA

Many newspapers these days allow readers to post their own stories in the community news section. The morning I wrote this,The Denver Post Your Hub section for my city included an article written by one of JVA’s clients about a grant they received. This was included in the print edition of the paper that was in my driveway, as well as online. On the morning (a couple of months later) that I’m getting this blog ready to run, one of the lead articles in Your Hub is a piece written by me about some of the local nonprofit stars who have attended JVA’s Executive Director Academy.

Such articles do not always make it into the print edition, but they usually are included on a newspaper’s website.

You typically need to set up a free account with the newspaper you want to write for. You need to write the story as if you are a reporter, not a PR person. Do not overuse adverbs or adjectives. Turn all your exclamation points back into the periods they should be. Include a photo if possible.

Use calendars to promote events

Many papers and websites also host calendars, which readers can post events to. Use these to promote your events. While you may not think of television and radio stations as places you can do this, all of them have websites, many of which have calendars and most of which feature written news articles just as you would find on a newspaper’s site.

Even news site that don’t allow readers to post actual stories, often have a form you can fill out for “news tips.” Do it.

While news reporters, producers and editors look many places for story ideas, one place they always look is in their own reader-generated files and tip forms. Once in a while, stories that start this way end as major features. Do not overlook these opportunities.

More on media relations

Check out JVA’s other media relations blogs:

Find Your Story

Pitch Your Story

Your Opinion is Your Shortcut to Getting Published

Minor Media=Big Results

A Brief Guide to Crisis Communication