Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tips for Getting Your Story Noticed By A Reporter

By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

As a PR professional, I’m frequently asked how to get a story “noticed” (code word for “get my story used by the media”).  There’s never a one size fits all answer, but it helps to understand what news is.  Here are seven tips that might help:
  • Is it something new or different? Something brand new or different, whether it’s an opening, new information, a new product line, etc. will raise the interest level. Just avoid saying it’s unique unless you can prove it!
  • Will the story appeal to the reporter or outlet’s target audience? Pitching a story about a new lawnmower to a swimmer’s magazine isn’t going to get results. Know who you’re pitching to. Make sure your pitch or release fits.
  • Is it something people need to know about? Taxes aren’t the most popular topic but, if there’s a tax code change with widespread impact and you’re an accountant, you have a shot at getting a business reporter interested in your take on the new code.
  • Why will people care about it? A new president at a big retail company or high-profile local firm is likely to get coverage. But the new president of a small, B2B firm probably won’t generate that kind of interest.
  • Is it visual? Even print media and radio look for photos and/or video these days. (Think about their websites and social media accounts.) What do you have to offer from a graphics, photo or video perspective?
  • Are you offering expertise or advice? Providing non-commercial expertise or advice about your industry and your works can be a great way to tell your story and showcase what you do.
  • Is it something quirky or entertaining? Sometimes the strangest things make the media. That’s because they’re quirky enough, or entertaining enough, to perk the interest of a reporter. There may not be any true news value, but if it’s fun, it could make the news.
Before you start pitching a story or sending out releases, do a quick review of this list. As we often say during media training, “It doesn’t matter what you think; the bottom line is, news is whatever the editor or reporter thinks it is.”  So pitch wisely my friends!
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