As a PR firm, we’re always on the lookout for interesting stories to tell about our clients. Many times, we’re able to anticipate a good story before our clients do. But there are times when a client or a potential client comes to us saying they’d like media coverage for an event, activity, promotion or business initiative. Our first response is always: tell me more about it. As they talk, we listen and then ask questions about it. Why do you want media coverage? Who is your target audience? Is this occurring right now, in the future, or did it happen several weeks or months ago? But the most important questions are: Why will this be interesting to your target audience? Why should they care?
The bottom line for any successful media engagement effort is to be able to tell a story that others will not only be interested in, but also care about. You want to capture the attention of your target audience, but first you have to capture the attention of the media. This is true whether you are leveraging online, social, digital, traditional or trade media. If the media isn’t interested in your story, it’s a lot harder to tell on your own, much less get the traction you need to reach your target audiences.
Sometimes we have to have a difficult conversation with a client and explain why the item they think is newsworthy, won’t be of interest to the media. Other times, the conversation leads us to discover aspects of the story that will make it even more compelling to their target audiences.
It’s always fun to pitch a story that gets great results. To do that, it takes planning and an honest conversation up front.