Ever wonder how to get your Driver or Team information written about or booked as a guest to be interviewed on a Motorsports podcasts or race radio show?
It’s all about a well written and timely sent Press Releases (and Blog Posts!). And you don’t have to hire a professional PR firm to write them to get noticed. You must have consistency and interesting news or “feel-good” stories to talk about. Media relations is part of a public relations strategy by way of Press Releases and is focused for the media in an effort to get them to write a story about you.
First things first – do you have a Facebook Fan Page? A Driver or Team Website? Because these are where your “announcements” and/or Stories with background information should be posted first, and the place to reference for “more information” so the media outlet (ie: reporter or show host) can go and get a bigger picture and background information about your driver and race team.
These 3 things: Website, Facebook page and consistent Press Releases – are all part of a good Public Relations and Driver Marketing Program that must be in place to start, build and keep a Fan Base AND appeal to prospective Sponsors, as well as to help give the current Sponsor(s) an ROI they expect.
Aaaaand just because you are new in racing or currently “just” in a karting career – doesn’t mean it is too early (or not relevant) to start this all-important step of sending out Press Releases. Drivers (or in our case, the Parents of minor drivers) must strategically communicate and build a relationship with the public and media outlets.
What type of news is PR worthy?
- Winning races of course is a always good news, but not the only time a driver should send out a press release.
- Getting a new sponsor is of course a big reason to write a press release (include a heavy portion of the content to the sponsor’s company or product line with links back to them).
- Announcing your race schedule or a special event that the driver is going to participate in
- Announcing that your driver is moving up in race divisions with a recap of the current year’s race season
- Special driver appearances such as being a guest on a web radio show or podcast are other newsworthy topics.
- If your driver is “Driving for a Cause” (aka: has a charity they support) and is doing a fundraiser or has news about the cause or charity to share that is another great reason to share a Press Release to get your driver’s name in the public arena. (see more about “Cause Marketing” or Racing for a Cause here)
WARNING: Don’t be tempted to be a “bragger” of non-honorable wins – such as winning races with fields of low average car counts for the class (or similar “easy” or “effortless” victories), as this is not “newsworthy” and will be ignored with future emails going unopened.
Think outside the box and take notes at the races so you can craft a press release that will set you apart from the everyday “Jimmy won again” type of content that the other drivers are sending out. Think about it like this: you consider the weekend’s race as a competition – well, don’t let it stop with the checkered flag at the end of the show.
If you are a rookie or just moved up in class and are winning races that’s okay! A good “Hard Charger” story from a weekend race event full of challenges or an “under dog” story with a positive message are the types of stories that get written about on blog sites.
Come Monday morning you are also in competition with the other driver’s press releases to get that very limited media exposure that is given to kart racing so make your story or “Announcements” stand out. Emphasis on the age of the driver, the technical skills needed to pull off a special move or to come from the back of the pack and move up through traffic to get a win or podium finish is good and be sure to make it sound as thrilling and nail biting as it was as it happened – paint a picture for the reader. Also, if there was a string of bad luck or losses before a big night’s result is another good “news” story (be sure to use that has part of the headline too).
PRO TIP: Keep a separate notebook or special computer folder to take notes, make files and add content for future press releases. As the PR person for your driver and race team you want to be consistently sending out press releases on a regular basis with fresh topics since that is essential in keeping the media’s interest and your driver in the conversation. Anything different and unexpected can be a news story!
Here are some More Tips:
- Read other racing stories on media outlets or magazines that you want to be published in to get ideas.
- Make your content sounds exciting with unexpected thrills given special or unusual circumstances.
- Include a good action shot of the driver on the track or a fun victory lane or podium finish group picture to include in the story. Give photo credit at the bottom of press release and attach the photo as an attachment (don’t embed it in the press release).
- Don’t copy other writer’s stories and respect the copyrights of photographers!
So again, it is never too early to start promoting your driver and race team. This is a very important skill to learn and execute on a regular basis if you plan on having a successful Motorsports Career. Marketing the driver and race team is just as important, if not more so, than simply winning races and is part of any good Driver Development Program.
*Remember that Talk Show hosts, just like reporters, are looking for a good (newsworthy) topics and a good out of the ordinary, “feel-good” story will peak their interest and get your driver invited to be a guest on their show even if they haven’t started a winning streak or veteran driver status. I’ve gotten several rookie and very young drivers on talk radio and Web TV shows before – the audience loves kids in racing. This is also very good experience for your driver and should be part of their driver development (learning) program.
So Now, here’s how to write a professional press release:
You should already have some notes written down – be sure to also have reference material or points of interest for sponsors or special event info that you want to include in your content.
- At the top of the page you want to list the document as a Press Release and add your contact information (credentials).
- You want to start off the official Press Release with a good, strong and eye-catching Headline. It has to be something that catches the reader’s interest – you want them to want to read more about the subject. Make it short and sweet, but if you need to add more, or have more to say about the topic (or story), then use a secondary “Sub-headline” under the Headline.
- The first paragraph should start with the city and state and the date in parentheses….then go straight into the first sentence/paragraph of the “announcement” (aka: your story) and should be a factual statement that is newsworthy in content.
Rhome, Tx: (February 15, 2017) March 21, 2017 marks the Season Opener of KAM Kartway’s 12th consecutive points series with a record 50 registered drivers in 7 different class divisions and is presented by Splash Haven Pools as the 2017 Title Sponsor.
- Keep it short and sweet is the rule of thumb in the body of the press release too, but newsworthy with facts and special interest content in paragraph format with bullet points if needed. Use short paragraphs to change subject or add topic content as well as for easy reading and flow.
- Always include a quote or two in the body of the copy (usually as a separate paragraph and indented to distinguish apart). Quotes can be from the driver, team owner, sponsor, event promoter or other related person or subject of interest as it relates to the story.
“It is humbling to be listed among such legendary tracks and such an honor to be included on the list of Top 15 Favorite Tracks in America, and we are truly grateful to the racing community for bestowing this honor on us for a second time!” Said Mike Engstrom about being named a Top 15 Favorite Track.
Finally – Use a Boilerplate.
This is the information that you want to include at the bottom of every release. The purpose is to provide the same consistent and standard information about your driver and team (or event, sponsor, home track, etc.) Include the driver’s type of racing, age, what series or tracks you normally race with, the class or division (aka: Outlaw Karts) you are in.
The Boilerplate is also where you will include the link to your website and Facebook page (and/or other Social Media outlets you have such as Twitter or Instagram but only if they are active). Don’t forget to include the link to your Sponsor’s website and Facebook pages as well in EVERY press release under the Boilerplate section.
KAM Kartway is currently in the middle of our Winter Season with races being held on Sundays through February. Our annual Big Show (Short Track Shootout) will be March 25th and 26th. The 2016 Race of Champions Points Series runs April thru October with the Season Opener set for April 2nd. This will be our 12th Season and feature 9 class with drivers starting as young as 4 ½ years of age in our Hot Wheels class all the way to our Premier Outlaw classes. The track also features an adult class so there is something for all ages and skill levels.
More information, track history, schedule, driver profiles and more can be found at www.kamkartway.com. Please also visit and Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kamkartway where you will find track news, updates, race results, driver fan pages, etc.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Kelley Engstrom at [Company Phone] or email at [Company E-mail].
I hope that this blog post has helped you see how important a Press Release is to your Driver Marketing Program and shown you how to successfully write them for your race team. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them for me. You can always message me on facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s an example of a Press Release that I did that got picked up by several news media outlets: