The June 2, 2015, edition of Flight School Business discussed the good news that flight schools can share with the public, versus the bad news that sometimes grabs the spotlight.
The newspaper industry has been struggling for a long time, but it isn’t dead. And for all we talk about Facebook and Twitter, newspapers are still quick and effective methods to get your good news to the community.
Newspapers operate websites in addition to publishing paper editions. While space may be limited within a printed edition of a daily or weekly newspaper, the website can host lots of articles, and many readers prefer to get their news online or via a mobile device.
Press releases—what are those?
A press release is a short announcement—just a few paragraphs will do—detailing your good news. As we discussed in the June 2 issue, you can let the public know that you have hired a new flight instructor, added an airplane to your fleet, or are hosting an open house. Solos and checkrides are good press release content because they are human interest stories.
Include your contact information (name, email, and telephone) so you can be easily reached if there are questions or, better yet, if a reporter wants to follow up with you for a more detailed story. Don’t forget to add your flight school’s website URL to the announcement.
If you send a photo, include names for everyone in the photo. If you send a photograph of an airplane, be sure to include its make and model. To general assignment reporters, everything looks like a Cessna 172.
Where should you send those releases?
Start with your local newspaper. As this article in the Houston Chronicle suggests, there may be an online form on the newspaper website, a “Contact us” form, or simply a name and email address. Is there a reporter who covers the airport as part of a beat? Send it to that person. If all else fails, call the newspaper and ask where you should send it.
Independent of printed newspapers, many communities have so-called hyperlocal news websites. These sites basically focus on a specific community and its concerns. They are always looking for content, so don’t ignore them when you send out your press releases.
And you can always send your good news to Flight School Business. While we can’t promise we’ll publish new hires or new Master CFIs, Flight School Business is always looking for positive stories to share with our readership.
Jill W. Tallman is editor of Flight School Business.