To invite journalists to cover a story, I send a “media advisory” and then either pitch (call and talk) to the station assignment desks or the producers depending on the story, lead time and topic. Our goal is to help our clients get their message out. We do so by making our focus to help the news departments inform the public of important topics and trends. So, if the news people don’t view our client’s story as newsworthy, we trust their judgement, adjust and try again later.
Basic tools and methods for making you newsworthy.
What is your message and who cares? Develop your story based on who you affect. Your core audience are the people to whom you are newsworthy. Before this is useful, we must answer an even more fundamental question is: what is news?
It’s hard to say anymore. Many argue that the size of a man’s hands isn’t news, but it was. Who died and made that person in charge of “news?” In the age of hard news, soft news, fake news, weird news and who-knows-if-it’s-news news, we all have to make educated guesses as to what is newsworthy to general and specialized audiences. One way to do this by creating “personas.”
“Personas” are fictitious examples of generic clients, customers, constituents. They are our generic definition of the people who care the most about our messages. Personas guide us into gaining a deeper understanding the clients’, customers’ or constituents’ point-of-view. They put us into their head so we communicate more clearly and convey our brand promise more effectively.
We advise clients to monitor the news and look critically for stories that seem to be related to their industry or that compliment their story. A pet store may see an animal rescue and step in to provide free food for whomever adopts the animal. A manufacturer may see a change in the economic environment reported and anticipate increased/decrease of sales and jobs. A restaurant anticipate a holiday or seasonal event that is frequently covered under general community news – like St. Patrick’s Day or the Superbowl. Once we see these types of stories, we can then research the reporter further, establish an online or email connection to share the story.
Often, being newsworthy often takes creative persistence. But, like all success, it tends to be a function of preparation meeting opportunity. Prepare yourself to be newsworthy and you will succeed.