4 Stories to Get Your Design Firm in the Media

Are You Sitting One of These Four "Bookable" Media Stories?

You as a business owner want free positive media coverage. Media outlets need relevant and interesting stories to tell that keep their readers, viewers and listeners interested. Together you are a match made in heaven, but the trick is to find the balance between providing the media with a truly interesting and honest news story instead of what they would consider to be better suited as advertising.

Finding your best media story is crucial if you want media coverage because you can't generate media coverage without a great story to tell. When brainstorming your best media stories, keep this in mind: Reporters, producers and editors are always going to be asking this question:

Will my viewers/listeners/readers care about this, or will they reach for their remote control, change the radio station, click to the next web site or just turn the magazine page hoping for something interesting elsewhere?

It's the age-old acronym, WIIFM: What's In It For Me? (Or rather, my viewers, listeners or readers.)

It is your job as a business owner to find a way to make the media perk up and say, "Hey-this is interesting and different or relevant. Let's do a story." Here are four great ways to generate this kind of interest:

1. Human Interest Appeal

For example: One of my clients is D.A.R.E. America, and I do PR for their after-school dance program called D.A.R.E. Dance. When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, a 7th grader from Chicago contacted D.A.R.E. Dance to see if she could collect gently used dance shoes at her dance studio and send them to Houston so the displaced kids could have dance shoes. We helped coordinate this project with her and also sent out a press release about her project to the media in Chicago. This human-interest story was picked up by a large magazine in Chicago and she had a reporter come out an interview her, take photographs of her and so forth. The coverage was fantastic, and although it was not a piece where the focus was on D.A.R.E. Dance, it certainly helped in our PR, community service and fund raising efforts!

2. Hard news

These stories are usually information-based.

For example: Stories that are political in nature. Other hot items right now are anything around "green" initiatives and new technology.

3. Piggybacking

This term means that you can comment on a national story. You take what's out there on a national level and be the local tie-In. Local media love this!

For example: If you are a divorce attorney and a high-profile couple is in the news because of a separation or divorce, you can send out a press release about what couples can do to prevent a sticky divorce, what the steps are to an amicable divorce, or other angle that works for you.

Another example: Young girls in Hollywood seem to constantly be in trouble. If you're a coach for mothers, you can send out a press release about how to prevent your young daughters from ending up in similar situations.

4. Offering a Solution to Problem

As an expert in your field, you have solutions to common problems. Your solutions are a prime media coverage opportunity.

For example: A report is released that shows that most home owners aren't properly insured. You offer a complete insurance package that meets the needs of home owners. You can send out a press release to this effect.

I trust you see that finding your best media stories is worth spending time on if you really want more media coverage. Many times, business owners are so close to their genius work that it's too difficult to see their best media stores. But keep this in mind: The media truly needs you-yes, you-to fill their air time and their publications. Take time this week to brainstorm and tell your best media stories that make the media say "Yes!" And if you need help, reach out to someone to help you unearth a great story that may be right under your nose.

By Meredith Liepelt
© 2011 Meredith Liepelt, Rich

Meredith Liepelt, President of Rich Life Marketing, offers a free report called "101 Ways to Attract Ideal Clients, Build Your List and Raise Your Profile," which can be downloaded immediately at http://www.RichLifeMarketing.com .