Part of our job as PR professionals is to find the balance between the stories a client wants to tell, what might interest a journalist and the story a journalist wants to report.
We typically use five factors to evaluate the newsworthiness of a client’s story: timeliness, impact, proximity, prominence and human interest. Usually the idea needs to involve more than just one of these elements to stand out from the scores of story pitches journalists and producers get each day.
Earlier this month, B2 account coordinator Paige Skinner attended the PRSA Pitching Boot Camp in Atlanta to sharpen her media relations skills and to help ensure that B2 is incorporating fresh techniques in our work.
Part of the daylong workshop involved looking at new and creative ways to create compelling story angles. Here are four media relations tips for getting a journalist’s attention:
– Help it stand out. Journalists get many pitches every day and it’s easy for your announcement to get lost in their inboxes. But an interesting story about the process that led to a product or event could stand out. Find out if your announcement is the result of an innovative strategy or unexpected events.
– Make it relatable. Readers wants a story with relatable subject matter – something they can connect to. Pitching journalists a story using the real people involved helps give it authenticity and personality.
– Find a way to tie your pitch to a trend or event. Journalists are working on several stories at any given time. Why should they report on your news now? Look at industry trends to see if your story follows or bucks a trend. Brainstorm ways to tie your story to a holiday to make it timely.
– Follow the news. The best way to have a handle on what’s in the news is to read newspapers, trade magazines and news websites every day – and make it a point to read the stories of reporters who cover your industry.