Do you know how to get the local media interested in you?
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
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
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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