How to Contact News Agencies
By Chris Newton
Updated September 26, 2017
News agencies sometimes rely on everyday citizens for news story sources. If you have information about an upcoming event or are a witness to something you feel is newsworthy, you might want to contact news agencies to spread the word. Most news agencies offer a variety of ways to get in touch.
Visit the news agency's website. Most news agencies have a "contact us" section on their website. If the site allows, fill out the online news story submission form. If not, take note of the phone number and/or email address provided for people to submit news stories and tips.
If you are trying to contact a newspaper or magazine, flip through an issue to look for the news office contact information, which is often in the front or back of the publication.
Send an email to the email address provided for your specific news story. Many agencies, especially larger ones, have several email addresses for different types of stories. Choose the email address that is most appropriate for your story. In your email, add a subject line to spark the interest of the news agency, such as, "News Story Tip: Local Man Goes The Extra Mile," or something that sparks their interest so they open and read your email. In the email body, describe the event or situation in one or two paragraphs, and provide your name and contact information so a reporter can follow up with you if necessary.
Call the news office using the phone number provided on the agency's website or in a publication. Ask to be transferred to the appropriate person to report a news story. When you are connected with the right person, tell him a brief overview of your news story, and leave your name and contact information.
You might not speak to a real person right away, especially at larger agencies. If this is the case, leave a brief but detailed description, along with your name and contact number, on the agency's voice mail line.
Send a letter to the address listed on the news agency's website or publication. Keep the letter under a page long. At the top, type your name and contact information, followed by a brief, one-sentence description of the event. Then, detail the event in a few paragraphs, and end the letter with a suggestion to contact you for further details. Sign the letter at the bottom.
Post the news story to your social media accounts. If the news agency has an account on the same social media platform, send it a message or "tag" it in your posting to get its attention.
If you are sending a press release or other publicity announcement, include a link to the event or company's website that the news agency can publish. Also, include a quote from a relevant source or participant in the press release that the news agency can publish.
Chris Newton has worked as a professional writer since 2001. He spent two years writing software specifications then spent three years as a technical writer for Microsoft before turning to copywriting for software and e-commerce companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Colorado.