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What is Community Newswire?
Community Newswire is a free news distribution service created by Media Trust for charities, voluntary groups and communities, in partnership with the Press Association (PA). The Newswire service aims to make it as easy as possible for community and voluntary groups with little media contact, to gain access to the media and get their voices heard.
How does the service work?
1. Charities, community and voluntary organisations submit a press release to Community Newswire.
2. A Press Association journalist turns newsworthy releases used into news stories – fact checked, balanced with additional information sought from you or others.
3. Formatted stories are sent out via the PA wire* to be picked up by other journalists.
*The PA wire is an online subscription service which supplies journalists with up-to-date electronic news feeds.
How do I submit a news release to Community Newswire?
Register for a Community Newswire account and upload your press releases to the website. If you have any questions about the service please email our Community Newswire editor
How do I know if my press release has been used?
Unfortunately due to the volume of stories received, an acknowledgment email cannot be sent for all releases submitted to Community Newswire. We do email all who have had their story used.
When should I submit my stories to Community Newswire?
Ideally stories should be submitted as early as possible. As a rough outline press releases about forthcoming events should be sent in at least 10 days before it takes place. If the story is submitted even earlier you may get the chance to run more than one release about the event. Stories submitted after an event must be sent in as soon as possible, either on the same day or the following day if possible. Releases about something that happened more than five days previous will not be used.
Our charity does not have broadband. How can we cut the cost of sending in a news release?
Write up your news release offline. Only connect tothe internet when you have your text ready, then cut and paste the text into the template.
Do the Press Association's media subscribers have to pay extra for Community Newswire?
No, Community Newswire stories are sent out as part of the main newswire package. In addition, journalists and newspapers that do not subscribe to the Press Association wire service can access Community Newswire through the Press Association's Mediapoint websites and here
Are there any costs involved for the charities or the news organisations?
There are no costs for anybody using Community Newswire service. It is a completely free media tool funded by the Big Lottery for the benefit of voluntary and community groups across England.
Will we be charged by any news organisation that decides to use the stories and photos put out on Community Newswire?
What should I do if my stories are not used on Community Newswire?
The journalists could be holding the story if it is not urgent to be used at a later date so be patient and keep checking the website. If the story has failed to make the newswire you could try again after the event with details of what you have achieved. Keep an eye on what is topical in the media because your story may suddenly become particularly newsworthy.
If my news release isn't picked by the Community Newswire on a particular day, is there any point in updating or changing it and trying again?
Yes. If, for example, it is previewing an event then try again afterwards with details of what you have achieved. Keep an eye on what is topical in the media because your story may suddenly become newsworthy.
What should I do if my stories are repeatedly not used on Community Newswire?
If you have not had any success getting a story on Community Newswire after several attempts contact the Community News Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we only want our story to appear in our local newspaper and if we already have good contacts with that newspaper, is there any point in using the Community Newswire?
Yes. All stories that are posted on the Community Newswire are also sent out on PA Newswire, which goes to thousands of regional and national journalists, who interact on a daily basis with this reliable news source so there is always the chance that your story will be picked by others, including TV and radio, increasing awareness of your organisation, campaign and/or event.
Our charity deals exclusively in national or international issues. How can we make these appropriate for a regional newswire?
There are usually ways of finding regional elements in stories. You might consider where your funders are based, where your field workers are from and case studies from particular parts of the country. These could all be the basis for good stories. However, the editorial team will also consider some national news stories.
How do I know if my story gets on to Community Newswire?
All stories on Community Newswire, which is delivered to newspapers and broadcasters around the country, will be posted on Community Newswire website
You will also be sent an email by the Community Newswire manager after your story has been published, though this will not generally be sent out on the same day so it is a good idea to check the website regularly.
There is an archive facility on the site so that you can check whether the story was used or not after the story is no longer live. The archive facility can be used to search for stories up to a month old.
After our story has been published on Community Newswire, will a journalist on a newspaper get back to me for further information or contacts?
Community Newswire offers a complete package so a journalist should not need to contact you. On some occasions journalists may want to add even more to a story and on these occasions they will want to speak to you. If you are putting down contact details for someone make sure they are prepared for the journalists to get in touch. This is also true for any case studies.
Will you tell me which journalists go on to print or broadcast the story?
The Press Association does not track the coverage of any the stories transmitted on the wire service, so you will need to monitor your own coverage. In some instances, you will know which journalists have picked up the story as they will call you for additional information.
We do carry out case studies to follow the progress of some of the stories that run on Community Newswire. We will contact these organisations prior to tracking any coverage. To track all coverage would be prohibitively expensive.
Please let us know feedback if you do find out about media coverage achieved as a result of using Community Newswire and tell us about the impact it had on your organisation.
Is there anything Community Newswire can do to control stories once they leave the Press Association?
The Press Association prides itself on accuracy and impartiality. However, once a story is picked up by other journalists the Press Association has no further input into the copy. That is why you must think carefully about each story you submit to us.
Why do I have to fill in a feedback form before submitting a release?
Community Newswire is constantly striving to improve and evolve. Your feedback is important as it helps us make sure you're getting the best possible service.
Got an unanswered question?
Email the Community Newswire team for further information.