Your press list needs to be constructed and put together before your campaign begins when you’re running for office. Why? Because if you don’t, somebody who needs to be invited to your formal announcement won’t, and they will then assume that you don’t have your act together. Why start with a bad impression when you can make a good one?

Looking for Help in Your Campaign? Call Jay at (845) 458-1210. The call is FREE.

Who should be on your press list? Every media outlet in your district, every daily and weekly newspaper, magazine, blog, radio station, cable and commercial television station.

Next take a look at media outlets outside your jurisdiction. Ones that are widely read, heard or viewed by a substantial number of your would be constituents.

You want the names of reporters, their specific email address, contact information, including cell numbers. You’ll need the e-mail address and the names of the bookers and producers for the TV and radio hosts.

Be sure to also include any important columnists or guest commentators that often show up on the editorial pages of newspapers or important publications.

Once you have this, you’ll have a good list. They should receive an invitation to your announcement, all press releases, videos posts, news about your campaign, copies of your speeches and op eds that you write during the course of your campaign.

Why? Just as you need an advertising strategy and a budget to fund it, it is essential in a competitive race to have a free press strategy.

The press has a job to do. They are going to do their job whether you like it or not. If you take a passive hands-off approach to the media, you will be doing yourself and your campaign a disservice, for voters do pay attention to and they are influenced by things other than your paid political advertising. Furthermore, the press will not react well if you avoid them. In fact, they will assume that you have something to hide, or that you are afraid of difficult questions, or that you can’t answer questions or defend your positions. If they come to that conclusion, they will make your life very difficult.

Have Questions? Call me at 845-458-1210. Or email me at

Last Week’s Video: Running for Office? Preparing for the Campaign: Your Fundraising Plan

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Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:

Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

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