Two Key Elements of a Great Story That Make the Media Take Notice
In order to gain publicity, you need to tell a compelling story. A reporter or producer needs to immediately see that there is value in taking a minute to read your press release. To uncover your best story, it's best to spend some time brainstorming your options.
So, let's get started! A story that gets picked up by the media generally has one or two main elements:
In other words, your story draws out an emotion. Your story makes them cry, laugh, get angry, feel happy, be inspired, or feel any range of emotions. This kind of emotional story makes readers feel that they can relate to you.
The Audience Can Apply Your Story to Their Own Lives.
In other words, a person can benefit somehow from hearing your story. They can avoid a problem, learn a new skill, think differently and so on.
One great way to start brainstorming your story is to think of all the labels that can describe you. Labels can include your gender, race, ethnicity, religion, life experiences - good and bad, education, hobbies, business or personal challenges, marital status, sexual orientation, place of residence and so forth. Once you have your labels, you may uncover a great story to tell. Or you may uncover a great market that you can turn to for coverage. Take religion for example. There are great publications out there for those markets. The Jewish Press and the Catholic Press Association are great examples of this. You can tweak your press release to show that you have credibility in those areas and you can increase your reach!
International Speaker and co-author of the best-selling book Guerrilla Publicity, Jill Lublin says that to gain great PR you should "use everything you've got." I love this statement because it's true. What this means is that you should look at all areas of your life and determine if there is a story there to tell. Sometimes your best story has little to do with your business, and that's just fine. Great press coverage will make you stand out even if it's not totally focused on your business.
I decided to "use everything I had" by touting the fact that I was a mother of young kids. This turned out to be a great idea because I was quoted in an article about creative outdoor fun with toddlers. This may not seem like a big deal because my business has absolutely nothing to do with outdoor fun with toddlers, however my name and my business name were mentioned in the article. And it was written for the iParenting website where they get thousands of readers every day. Not bad public relations!
Here's an example of how this can work. Let's say your parents live in a different city than you do. You can quickly and easily customize your press release and make the media in their city take notice. Here's what you can do. Start your press release like this:
Daughter of Lynchburg residents Mary and Gale Weisman, announced today that...
I once got a 3 column story with color a photo using this exact PR tactic!
Now that your creative juices are flowing, take three minutes and brainstorm what story you can pitch that is personal or that others can apply to their lives.
By Meredith Liepelt
Photography by Raisa Kanareva© 2011 Meredith Liepelt, Rich Life Marketing 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 RichLifeMarketing.com.