How do you go about getting press in newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc.?
Generating Press... you need to tell them you exist!
A long way back I became aware that the traditional media aka radio, newspapers and television need stories not just news.
So if you create a story about yourself or your products ( called PR ) send it to each and every media outlet you can. If you can make contact with someone internally to champion you, all the better. Needless to say if you make CBG's, the cooking editor is not really the right person for your PR unless they are a muso on the side...
You will most likely get more attention from your local media than state or national but who knows? If your story is of broad interest it could go national thru a media agency!
Send your PR to specialty magazines but it should be concise and have quality photos. Most mags rewrite all their articles so you need to convey the meat of what you do to whet their appetite to follow up... which you can also do... call them to ensure they got your material, then you become a real entity!
Social networking is all the rage but it's not clear to me whether it really works unless you put in a massive effort into publicising your social pages. It strikes me as a volatile medium in that it can drive negative as well as positive responses. But if "something" of interest goes viral, it gets you a lot of publicity really quickly. Be prepared to take advantage of it!!!
As with all publicity, it is an arm of advertising, marketing and sales promotion. Without a strategy (plan) to follow to implement it, it can be a huge time waste. And it does take up a lot of time because it is a professional speciality few of us have.
From my experience, if you can be available, consistent, dependable, and make enough noise the Press will come seeking you out. My story... I have been at a local Farmers Market every Saturday for the last 6 months. Sales have been steady, and I've been exploiting all the free advertising I can on Facebook, Craigslist, and local "Open Mike Nights". Then one day along comes a customer who bought a 1 string dulcimer from me a few weeks back. He tells me that he is a local freelance reporter and has a page of an upcoming newspaper publication to fill. He liked my instrument and wanted to do a story about it. I wasn't looking to get that kind of attention, I was just doing my thing and then it just happened....
I was noticed by the media. The results were ...Lakeland Ledger Interview