Public Relations: The 5 Ingredients to a Good Story
Posted by Robert Blodgett on December 19, 2008 in Public Relations [ 1 Comment ]
When approaching the media, you’d better be darned sure your story is interesting. Got a new product to announce? Just signed a new client? Opening store? If so, that’s great. But it’s useless in the eyes of the media unless you have something that makes it unique. So what makes a good story? How can you turn your announcement into a fascinating topic of interest to the media. Here are a few must-do’s:
- Focus – Your story should be about one specific topic. Being too broad makes the story vague and uninteresting. Don’t add a bunch of mumbo-jumbo just because you want to fill a page of paper, keep your story focused on one topic. Any filler information should only serve to support your main idea.
- Drama– Your story needs to have something that is dramatic, unique, different… If you’re opening a store, what makes the opening different than others? Why is it unique? These are questions you need to answer yourself before you propose the story to someone else.
- Sources-When promoting your story, try to look for other sources that support your idea. Customers that enjoy your service or product and are willing to speak with the press are a great resource for a reporter. Perhaps even a spokesperson from the Chamber of Commerce or local Kiwanis club. Anyone that is independent of you and is willing to offer “kudos” to a member of the press can really help set your story apart from others.
- Biggest? If your story is a “first” (or biggest, largest, fastest, etc…), the press eats this kind of information. In fact, you might even want to try to contact the reporter you think might give you the best exposure to your customer base. Offer an exclusive. An exclusive is an offer to a journalist to run the story first, before anyone else. Now if you do offer an exclusive, it really has to have an incredible “Wow” factor, so think about this carefully first.
- Data: Reporters love data. If you can provide any kind of statistical data that supports your story, you’re more likely to get the attention of the media. If you think about it, you’ll often hear the media quote a source saying; “The top ten reasons….” Numbers and statistics can really make your story more interesting to reporters.
Just remember, when you’re writing an announcement, don’t get caught up with ensuring you write what you want. Its not about you…it’s about the journalist and their audience you’re trying to reach. What will get their attention and how can you write a story idea that will stick? Follow these suggestions and watch how quickly your idea will be gobbled up by the press.
If you need expert PR advice and a professional to help, check out Resource Nation’s business center of public relations professionals.