5 ways a story makes it to the headlines
All the best stories that make the news have the common ability to be remembered.
They grab the attention, if only for a short while, but whatever the tale they offer something a little different to the reader.
If you’re crafting a story to send to the media, then think about who you are aiming it at. The story should only go to an audience likely to be interested, otherwise it will be considered spam – so check that you are sending it to the right journalist on the correct publication for your target audience.
For instance, a sports reporter will not want to hear about a new vacuum cleaner that can be programmed to clean the house via computer, whilst you’re at work. Incidentally, this hasn’t been invented yet as far as we know, but it sounds a great idea!
Publications, media outlets, call them what you will receive countless stories every day and only the best, in their considered opinions will be used.
Therefore, pitching is vital, but even then with the best pitch possible, your tale may fall on rocky ground.
So, here are our top 5 tips to gain more media coverage:-
- Has your story got mass appeal? Tales that are relevant to a large number of people or affect many will have a wider appeal across many titles.
- Does it come from someone credible? Comments from an individual who can be seen as an expert or someone with established trust in their field will give the piece extra media rocket fuel. Celebrities, politicians and high ranking professionals getting involved makes it worth knowing about.
- Has it got a human interest angle? Can people really engage with what you have to say? The reader/viewer has to relate to those involved.
- Does it entertain? Is the story likely to be talked about in the office, coffee shop, pub, shared on social media? People want to have something that stands out to them – different from the normality of everyday life.
- Is it relevant? Again, think of the readership. Is it relevant to them? What’s good for teenage girls might not be so interesting to women in retirement. Think again, exactly who the story is targeted at.
- Use social! If you are targeting a particular journalist or publication, then take a look at their social media accounts, they will often mention the subjects they are interested in or will share recent articles. It’s always worth checking that out and maybe reacting to their posts, so they get to know you before you approach them.
Even with all the factors above, stories sometimes just might not be run, but don’t let that dispirit you. Often, it’s about timing and also sometimes the mood of the recipient! Media coverage is often subjective, so what is someone’s opinion is not set in concrete. It’s always worth trying someone else on a title.
Remember, if a journalist likes your tale and the way you have communicated with them they will often keep your details on file and offer you coverage for another story some other time.
As we say, ‘oiling the media wheels,’ takes patience, charm, and respect. Stick with the programme and the results will come.
Good luck with it and if you liked this article, then please feel free to share it on your social media accounts! Thank you.