Working With the Media


A school that is having a big event, has won a big award or has other items to share with San Diego, let the media know. San Diego has a wide variety of media that are friends of San Diego Unified School District schools, its students and hard-working staff. Here are ways to get the word out.

While the media—and their readers or viewers—do love to produce positive stories about San Diego kids, requesting the media do stories on an activity at a school is not like ordering a pizza. The media have many stories to cover in a day and a limited amount of reporters and photographers to send. It's your role to convince the media that your story is worth their time.

Media Calendar

Items about events are included in the weekly Media Calendar, which is distributed to the media every Friday. Send items to the Communications Department at least a month in advance at communications@sandi.net The announcement might also be appropriate for Newsline or Unified Vision. Please give the Communications Department a call at 619-725-5578 before sending any notices to the media. Read more about the district's Media Calendar and other calendar opportunities.

News Releases

A news release is a news story that you're asking the media to publish or broadcast. Today, it's a very rare instance when information distributed by a third-party, such as a school, is published or broadcast directly. If you're asking for media coverage, prepare a media advisory and follow the tips below to invite reporters and photographers to do their own story.

Calendar items are sometimes published directly, or you can enter the calendar items yourself; check the Media and District Calendar page for specific information.

Media Advisories

Media advisories are used to alert and invite the media to future event and it is kept to one page. A news release is a full story, usually one or two pages long, about something after the fact. Both outline the five Ws and give a contact name and telephone number for information, as reporters write their own stories, generally not taking your material and printing or posting it directly.

Here are some tips on how to prepare and distribute a media advisory.

  • The date and time of the event, location (including the street address) and description.

  • Information on who the media can photograph and interview.

  • Explain why the media should cover the story.
  • A contact name and phone number for the reporter and a contact phone number for the public, if the event is open to the public.

  • Send a copy to the Communications Department for distribution to media e-mail accounts and Media Calendar at least one month before your event.

  • Send a month or two advance to monthly newspapers and magazines. Check each publication's deadline.

  • Send (usually by email) a week in advance to broadcast media.

  • Email about a week ahead to daily print media and websites.

  • The sample media advisory and sample press release illustrates standard formatting.

  • No photos, graphics or logo should be included in the email, as this can delay its delivery or be caught in the media's spam filter.

School news section

School News Section

Each school website has a school news section. Don't forget to post any news you'd share with the media on your website. Visit the district Web Services page for more information and to take a training session.