Here are a few ways to identify story ideas about you or your business.
Does this sound familiar?
- You can’t understand why the business reporter at your local newspaper has quoted your competitor in five separate stories but hasn’t called you once.
- Your company sends out more than two dozen news releases every year about new employees and promotions, but they result in little more than a few lines of type.
- The 12-page speech your boss wrote when he spoke at the local Rotary Club luncheon would have made an excellent column for the local business magazine. But after you mailed it to the editor, you never heard a word.
- If your attempts at media coverage have fallen flat, quit grumbling and start taking a proactive approach to free publicity by identifying interesting, compelling story ideas the media need. Yes, NEED.
- Newspapers, magazines and trade publications have hundreds of thousands of column inches to fill. TV and radio stations have hundreds of hours of news and community interest programs they must broadcast. The number of media outlets is greater than ever, and competition is fierce for advertising dollars, viewers and subscribers. The secret to savvy media relations is knowing exactly what they want, then giving it to them.
Here are questions designed to help you identify the best story ideas within your company or organization:
Is your company doing anything unique, or different than your competitors? Examples: A professional speaker who gives a quirky, memorable free gift to every meeting planner who hires her. A web site company that gives its customers discount coupons good for a web site update for every referral a customer sends. An agency that buys creative toys for its employees to use during brainstorming sessions to get their own creative juices flowing.
The Local Angle
Are you the local angle to a national or regional event? During the OJ Simpson trial, I had a business attorney client who was willing to share his opinion on how the trial was going. And he was asked, daily, from TV to the newspaper. Although not a litigator, his willingness to share his perspective was rewarded by his becoming a local celebrity. And new business started pouring in. Why? Because he was the expert.
Special Days, Months, Years
Keep up with the special occasions for an opportunity to get free ink. One of my clients created a Guiness flavored ice cream at St. Patrick’s Day and he was interviewed that day by two TV stations. Think creative. Think novel, new and not expected.
Here are a few ideas to get you started, supplied by one of my favorite newsletters:
September: Honey Month, Self-Improvement Month, Update Your Resume Month, Backpack Safety Month, National Clean Hands Week (17-23), Balance Awareness Week (18-23), and Banned Books Week (23-30). And attention married ladies: September 16 is Wife Appreciation Day!
October: Eat Country Ham (“Go Hog Wild”) Month, National Dental Hygiene Month, National Cookie Month, National Ergonomics Month, Squirrel Appreciation Week (1-7) National No Salt Week (2-9), Teen Read Week (15-21), Peace, Friendship and Good Will Week (25-31), and Columbus Day (9).
November: National Adoption Month, Vegan Month, Military Family Appreciation Month, American Diabetes Month, Fig Week (1-7), Animal Shelter Appreciation Week (7-13), Family Week (19-25), and don’t forget Election Day and Thanksgiving!
For more special days, see Brownielocks
SOURCE: Meet The New Media
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