Some PR executives adopt a spray and pray strategy to getting media coverage. They spray their press releases across a huge number of journalists and then pray that some will pick it up and publish.
Journalists have a gut instinct for what makes a good story and the angle that works for their audience. At Electric Airwaves, we have spent 35 years analysing what makes a good story. The best ones have these five key elements.
The first element is TOPICAL. It could be timely – it is about to happen, is happening or has happened. But is can also be seasonal – like Christmas or financial reporting season – or it can be a piggybacking another current issue.
It needs to be RELEVANT – if it’s not relevant to the journalist and their audience, it’s not getting published.
Is it UNUSUAL. Dog bites man – no story; man bites dog – now that’s unusual!
What’s the HUMAN element? Generally speaking, journalists don’t write about products or services, they write about how they impact on people. So like a good salesman, sell benefit not feature.
These four elements alone could also be said to make great advertising copy. But a journalist is not there to do your advertising for you. What they’re looking for is the fifth and final element – TROUBLE.
Which is why your spokespeople think that journalists are out to get them. But they are not. It’s the job of a journalist to play devil’s advocate and test your truth. That’s what makes it journalism not advertising.
Your story is your version of the truth. The journalist will legitimately challenge your version of the truth by asking awkward questions. Or maybe just by playing the idiot. Whatever works for them to find their story.
You can remember these five story elements by thinking of TRUTH.
Cover these five elements in your press release or media interview and you are well on the way to getting the coverage you want
At Electric Airwaves, we serve the needs of Communication teams that need their spokespeople to tell their organisation’s story in an engaging and compelling way to different types of journalists.
Would you like the help of our journalists to best tell your story?
17 Jan 2019