In response to Want to be Quoted in the Newspaper?, Michelle Carter writes: 

As a former journalist, I can echo that this is a great idea. A word of caution- try to get your foot in the door *before* that big story appears. Otherwise, it looks like you’re chasing publicity, and that’s a big red flag.

Being a good source on a non-funeral subject first is also a great way to get into their good graces without seeming like a publicity chaser. Send them a tip about an issue facing small businesses in the community, or the fiscal challenges facing the little league. You’ll come off as someone more well-rounded, and without an agenda.