If you want to increase your media coverage – and after all editorial coverage is far more valuable than advertising – then these four tips will increase your chances of interesting an editor in a story.
1. Target your stories
The first thing to remember is that what makes a good story for one journalist isn’t necessarily the same for everyone.
Someone working on the FT won’t be interested in the ins and outs of Cheryl Cole’s love life – or for that matter a strike in Swedish paper mills – but the latter would certainly make the front page of Packaging News, while Cheryl Cole would make the front of most women’s magazines.
What a journalist regards as a good story depends on where they work. So, it is important to work out the type of stories that will make the grade in the media that counts for your business or organisation.
And the easiest way to do this – read and watch them! After all, how can you expect to get stories in publications or programmes you’ve never seen.
Be sparing: don’t bombard your chosen media with every tedious little twist and turn and new development in your organisation, because when you send them a genuinely interesting get out there, they assume it’s another boring press release, and won’t ignore it.
2. Check out your competitors
The second step is to hunt out stories about the competition – that will give you a clue about what kind of stories make the grade in your chosen media.
3. Is your story interesting?
Find an honest story filter. A large number of the stories you find fascinating will probably only be for internal consumption – so make sure that’s where they stay. One trick is to imagine telling your friends about the story on a night out – would they be gripped, or yawning with boredom?
4. Think pictures
And make sure you think about pictures. Good pictures are story-gold for both newspapers, online television. They can be the deciding factor between two stories. So make sure your story has picture potential and that you make this clear when you contact the press.
And remember, even the best stories get thrown out of the window if big news breaks. Don’t be offended, or disheartened, it’s just the nature of the media.